December 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Bob Huggins doubles down on his claim that he did not resign from West Virginia after the DUI arrest

Bob Huggins doubles down on his claim that he did not resign from West Virginia after the DUI arrest

Bob Huggins stands by his claim that he did not quit.

The longtime West Virginia men’s basketball coach, nearly a month after the school announced his resignation and retirement from coaching following a DUI arrest, released a statement Monday. Huggins, who made it sound like he was issuing a statement from a “world-class rehabilitation center,” insisted that he still works in West Virginia and that he never gave the proper notice necessary to resign from his position.

“I informed WVU that I was seeking rehab,” Huggins wrote. “However, WVU was not willing to talk to me about the Pittsburgh event nor to give me time to get a lawyer to review my employment agreement… Now that I’ve got a lawyer to review the employment agreement and I’ve seen WVU’s comments about my current situation, it’s clear that WVU hasn’t dealt. With the attitude right. More importantly, the basketball program is in dire need and I have a strong desire to finish my career as a basketball coach for the program I love.”

Huggins was arrested last month in Pittsburgh after officers found his car blocking a roadway with slashed tires. After suspecting he was intoxicated, officers conducted a field sobriety test, which Huggins failed, according to the police report. Huggins reportedly blew a . 210 on a breathalyzer and officers allegedly found a trash bag with empty beer cans on the passenger side floor of his car.

This was Huggins’ second known DUI arrest. He was initially caught in 2004 while training in Cincinnati.

In May, Huggins used an anti-gay slur during an appearance on a Cincinnati radio station. West Virginia suspended him for three games and cut his salary by $1 million after that incident.

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Huggins said in his testimony that he was “truly sorry for the mistake I made in Pittsburgh”, that he had checked into rehab and that he intended to stay there “until it is clear to me to return to my active coaching duties.”

West Virginia announced the retirement of Bob Huggins last month, just one day after he was arrested on a DUI charge in Pittsburgh. (Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

One day after his arrest, West Virginia announced in a statement that Huggins had resigned and intended to retire from coaching. He also apologized and said he intended to “spend the next few months focusing on my health and my family so I can be the person they deserve.”

Huggins said Monday that the statement was not written by him, and that West Virginia “simply indicated that they received the purported letter of resignation from me.”

Huggins made similar allegations through his attorneys last week, which were denied by the state of West Virginia. The school called Huggins’ assertion “completely factually inaccurate”, and said that both had personally told the players that he was resigning and told university officials in an email that he was resigning. Huggins’ lawyer claimed that the resignation came in a text message written by Huggins’ wife.

West Virginia again retracted Huggins’ allegations Monday afternoon.

“There is no support in the law or these facts to suggest that Mr. Huggins may now ignore his resignation and his actions upon which all relied, retract his voluntary separation, and return to business as if none of this had ever happened,” the West Virginia vice president wrote. and General Counsel Stephanie Taylor.

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She continued, “But let me restate the obvious: The university will not accept Mr. Huggins’ attempt to reverse his resignation, nor will it reinstate him as head coach of the men’s basketball program.”

Since then, several West Virginia players have been transferred from the program. The school also promoted assistant Josh Ellert to replace Huggins on an interim basis for the next season.

Huggins, a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, was the most effective and winning head coach in college basketball with 935 career victories. The 69-year-old has 10 conference championship titles and two Final Four appearances to his name after coaching at West Virginia, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Akron and Walsh.

It’s not clear what happens next, though Huggins seems ready for a legal battle. Somehow, the situation has only gotten worse since the school announced his resignation.