"We question whether persons or their relatives having an association with [West Virginia] Media may have been involved in this process," Raese wrote.
West Virginia Media President Bray Cary and Luck did not respond to emails requesting comment Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Clements' office declined comment, saying only that the university had received Raese's letter. Payne could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
Raese's letter criticizes Payne for telling newspaper reporters that WVU would receive $5 million a year under the proposed contract with IMG College and possible subcontractor West Virginia Media.
WVU has signed a "letter of intent" to award its third-tier media rights to Winston Salem, N.C.-based IMG College. The media rights cover some non-conference football and basketball games, non-revenue sports, radio broadcast rights, coaches' shows, signage, online content and seatback sales.
IMG is expected to partner with West Virginia Media on the deal, but the two companies have yet to sign a formal agreement.
Luck disclosed the possible partnership in an interview with The Dominion Post newspaper in Morgantown.
Raese said his lawyers recently contacted WVU purchasing director Tim Bostonia, wanting to confirm Payne's and Luck's statements about the pending media rights deal.
"Mr. Bostonia told us that all aspects of IMG's bid were confidential and subject to a non-disclosure agreement, and therefore no part of their bid could be disclosed," Raese wrote.
Raese said his lawyers asked Bostonia how Payne knew details about the tentative media rights contract.
"After a short pause, Mr. Bostonia said that he would have someone call us with an explanation," Raese told Clements. "We presently are still awaiting that call."
The Gazette also requested IMG's bid under the state Freedom of Information Act.
WVU lawyers rejected the request, citing an exemption to state FOIA law that allows state government to withhold documents that contain information about "commercial competition." However, the university's lawyers suggested the Gazette request IMG's bid package at a later date.
Raese's company, West Virginia Radio Corp., has broadcasted WVU football and men's basketball games for decades through a partnership with the WVU-owned Mountaineer Sports Network, which now holds the media rights.
Payne has said Raese doesn't want to give up his lucrative partnership with WVU.
Raese sent a separate letter to Clements last week, asking WVU's president to reconsider awarding the media rights contract.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.