Sweet deal, huh?
Well, it was until WVU decided to sell those Tier 3 rights, a highly visible (or at least audible) chunk of which is radio.
So now we've got Raese, about to lose a sweetheart radio deal with WVU, miffed because Cary, who has contracts to produce TV shows for WVU, is apparently going to keep (or even expand) his interests as a partner with IMG. So Raese has worked with another of his entities, the Dominion Post newspaper, as well as others, to see that justice is done.
It's a purely noble and magnanimous effort, right?
The fact is, many of the findings in the attorney general's report were exactly as Raese alleged. What makes it so funny, though, is that Raese can't help come off looking like the whistleblower who was ingrained as part of that Good Ol' Boy network right up until the time he was on the outside looking in.
What has been common knowledge among the GOB has now been surfacing in the Dominion Post, as well as the Gazette and other outlets.
Who flies free and where they sit in relation to Bob Huggins on basketball charters is now out. We know Huggins is a shareholder in Cary's West Virginia Media.
Also, there's the makeup of the panel that Luck appointed to evaluate the Tier 3 rights bids, which began as three people and then was bumped to six. That one of the members, deputy athletic director Mike Parsons, has made the in-house Mountaineer Sports Network his life's work certainly had little to do with that panel being expanded to make each vote less critical, right? And that Parsons and associate AD Mike Szul (essentially the expert on the finances of any move) didn't even vote when the IMG proposal was accepted isn't strange, either, is it?
Here's the thing, though, and why I can't help but be amused by it all. Eventually, those Tier 3 rights will be sold. Whether it's to IMG or someone else, WVU will profit greatly from it. If Payne is right, it will be to the tune of about $5 million a year. (Shhhh, he wasn't supposed to tell you that.)
Will Cary's people be involved? Who knows? Will Raese continue to profit? In some way, sure. The guy owns a station on pretty much every West Virginian's radio dial.
Will your experience with WVU athletics change? Not likely. You will still have broadcasts to hear and telecasts to see. Someone else will sell the signs you see at the stadium and a lot of the ads you hear or see electronically.
It's just all about who gets the money and how much. WVU will get more. A company like IMG will get more. And they would be getting more right about now had the school been more diligent and had the Good Ol' Boys not started their infighting.
The more things change, right?
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.