WVU head basketball coach Bob Huggins used an anti-gay slur in a radio interview, but will not be fired. Instead, the school is expected to suspend him.
Bob Huggins said the unthinkable in an on-air interview with a Cincinnati-affiliated station, in which he referred to their rival Xavier as “those Catholic f-gs.”
It was that statement which had many calling for Huggins dismissal as head coach of WVU. Instead, however, the Mountaineers will punish their head coach via other means. Per Huggins and the school, WVU will dock the longtime coach’s salary by $1 million next season and suspend him for three games.
Huggins makes over $4 million, so the salary deduction won’t hurt him all that much. The three-game suspension is likely to occur early in the season.
WVU won’t fire Bob Huggins, though they should
Huggins issued a statement shortly after using the slur, apologizing for his insensitive language:
“During the conversation, I used a completely insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for — and I won’t try to make one here. I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University. As I have shared with my players over my 40 years of coaching, there are consequences for our words and actions, and I will fully accept [anything] coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”
The 69-year-old coach issued a separate statement on Wednesday, suggesting he had reflected on the situation for the last 48 hours and came to an understanding of why so many were offended by his comment.
The relatively minor punishment is sure to receive plenty of blowback from the college basketball community. Despite Huggins status at the University, such commentary will offend a portion of the fanbase.
West Virginia ought to do better, but they won’t.