MORGANTOWN - It continues to be puzzling that West Virginia University bigwigs saw fit to deprive its football, basketball and baseball fans of getting games on AM radio stations in Morgantown.
As a result, the West Virginia Radio Corp. declined to accept offers to carry those broadcasts on any of its other 40 radio stations in West Virginia and Cumberland, Md.
Think of the estimated thousands who are being deprived in the Tri-State area-including the Pittsburgh region where countless WVU alumni reside. Morgantown WAJR AM frequency signal, I'm told, was within reach of those.
That's when WVU officials signed a 12-year agreement with IMG College for partial media rights which West Virginia Radio Corp, part of Greer Industries, possessed for some 70 years of radio sports programming.
Granted, an FM station out of Fairmont does broadcast the games locally. But even if reachable, numerous long-time WVU graduates-including this one-does not own a radio set with both FM as well as AM reception.
Obviously and most admittedly, WVU switched to IMG College because of more money. That seems to be of far greater importance to the Board of Governors than the concerns and accommodations of the alumni, students, and supporters.
Why? In my opinion, it's a result of the West Virginia Radio Corp. lawsuit against the University's BOG, President James Clements, Athletic Director Oliver Luck, and many others occupying high positions.
I believe keeping the game broadcasts from an AM radio station in Morgantown was taken as an act out of spite for the lawsuit.
That's strictly one observer's views.
And the reasoning therein is shameful on the part of all involved!
I have challenged a few friends (if I still have any) to find another major college or university in the United States that does not-like West Virginia-have an AM radio station in its own town or city that doesn't broadcast its own football and basketball games and probably those in baseball.
Yes, adding a few million dollars to the steadily growing WVU athletic revenue may be important. But isn't it even more important to rebuild a slipping fan base for WVU football and men's basketball?
Those once were considered the top two revenue producers of the entire Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.