"To lose that through a process that's corrupt, that's not quantifiable in damages," the judge said. "Not all the harm's irreparable. But some of it is. I'm satisfied of that."
West Virginia Radio made a last-ditch effort to salvage its business by proposing that Evans craft an order allowing IMG to carry the football games as planned, but letting West Virginia Radio air the games on three stations, too. Attorney Frank Simmerman also proposed that all WVU basketball games air on West Virginia Radio stations, as they have for decades.
WVU opposed that, saying it effectively asked the judge to give the network "that which it could not get in the competitive marketplace and which it didn't even bid on."
Evans also rejected the idea.
The WVU Board of Governors, WVU Foundation, West Virginia Media Holdings, IMG and individuals including Athletic Director Oliver Luck wanted the lawsuit dismissed. They argued, among other things, that West Virginia Radio failed to provide sufficient grounds for its claims of conspiracy, fraud and violation of procurement regulations.
Evans denied those motions without ruling on the merits of the underlying case.
Simmerman also told Evans that West Virginia Radio could not wage an effective case because WVU had refused from February until last Thursday to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests for procurement and purchasing documents.
When it did, he said, the university turned over several dozen redacted pages without sufficient explanation.
That hinders his ability to investigate the relationship between WVU and IMG before the contract was awarded, Simmerman said. Now that the contract has been awarded, he argued, there's little need to keep those documents secret.
Evans ordered WVU to "fully comply with its statutory duties" and said he would schedule a separate hearing if needed.
He also asked the parties to consider referring the case to West Virginia's new business court. Evans would remain in charge, but the designation means he could give the case priority over others on his docket. That could result in a speedier resolution.
No one objected, but Wakefield and West Virginia Media said they needed time to consult with their clients.