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Luck hopeful rights deal will get done

Chip Ellis
WVU athletic director Oliver Luck (center) stopped by to chat with the George Washington High School lacrosse team before practice Monday. GW coach Brad White (left) introduced Luck to the Patriots' Cole Salmons (right), who recently suffered a separated shoulder. Luck could relate, having been a quarterback at WVU and in the NFL.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Oliver Luck was in Charleston Monday afternoon with plenty on his plate. He was attending a lacrosse tournament at George Washington High School and was to give a talk later in the evening.Lacrosse?"Hey,'' West Virginia's athletic director said, "it's the fastest-growing sport among high schools. And it really is a great sport.''Make no mistake, though, Luck had other things on his plate Monday. His attempt to farm out West Virginia's Tier 3 media rights had just taken a bit of a hit when West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released a report urging the school to revisit the bidding process. (See story, Page 1A.)It was a setback, to be sure. The school has agreed to do just that - to begin the bidding process over again and this time pay far more attention to detail. That would seem to throw a wrench into Luck's hopes to have those media rights assigned by the start of the coming school year.But Luck hasn't given up. In fact, he sounds hopeful that all of the dealing can be accomplished in time to stay on schedule."At this point, it just depends on how expedited the rebidding process can be,'' Luck said.He would seem to have a point, too.
"When you think about it, the companies that are going to be involved in this aren't likely to have many, if any, questions,'' Luck said. "They've already gone through the process.''Indeed, very little has changed save for the fact that West Virginia will now begin the process again, this time addressing the issues that Morrisey's report outlined. Among those were a failure to maintain confidentiality in the bidding process, to properly score the bids and to allow each of the six members of the panel charged with selecting a media company sufficient time to vote.None of those issues requires a great deal of time, if any, to correct during a rebidding process.With that in mind, Luck isn't scurrying to make alternate arrangements for the coming school year, although at some point that might have to be done."I supposed the bottom line is that we're going to try to have an expedited process,'' Luck said. "The question is how expedited it can be."I think it's certainly doable.''Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or or follow him at
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