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West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins is expected to return to the sideline next season in the wake of using a homophobic slur in a radio interview earlier this week, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
The university’s decision is in the process of being finalized on Wednesday, and the details have not yet been finalized. Huggins agreed to a $1 million pay cut, a major suspension, and sensitivity training.
Huggins, 69, is expected to sign the amended contract agreement on Wednesday, the sources said. Huggins’ adjusted salary cuts his earnings from $4.2 million to $3.2 million. The $1 million salary cut is believed to be one of the largest in college athletics.
Sources told ESPN that Huggins met with President Gordon G on Tuesday and regretted the remarks. The decision came from the highest levels of the school, including Ji, the university administration, the school’s board of trustees, and the athletic department.
The decision came after nearly two days of deliberation, with Huggins appearing on a Cincinnati-area radio station Monday. Soon after, the university denounced his words and announced that it was reviewing the incident.
In a radio interview on News Radio 700 WLW in Cincinnati, where Huggins used to coach (at the University of Cincinnati), he discussed an incident with the host where Huggins mentioned a “rubber dick” was thrown on the floor of a Cruztown Shootout game between Cincinnati and Xavier.
Then Huggins said, “What it was, it was all these, those Catholics, I think.”
The audio appeared on the media industry’s website as a terrible advertisement and went viral. The remarks sparked a backlash, and Huggins issued an apology, which included: “I used a completely insensitive and hateful phrase that there is no excuse for it – and I will not attempt to make it here. I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended.”
Huggins, a West Virginia alumnus, is a Hall of Fame coach who has a record of 863-389 at four Class I schools since taking the Akron job in 1984. Huggins has also coached at Kansas State. Along the way, he has emerged as one of the most successful and divisive coaches of the last generation. He has been at West Virginia since 2007 and has led the school to a 345-203 record, 11 NCAA Championships and the 2010 Final Four.
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