Big 12 Coach Bob Huggins Receives Discipline For Anti-Gay Slur

May 10, 2023, 1:27 PM

Bob Huggins, West Virginia...

Bob Huggins received discipline from West Virginia after use of an anti-gay slur on a Cincinnati radio program. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – West Virginia University announced discipline for men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins after using an anti-gay slur earlier this week.

Huggins, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, said a homophobic slur during a Cincinnati radio program on Monday. The slur was geared toward Xavier fans and also disparaged Catholics.

After reviewing the matter, West Virginia announced that Huggins would have his salary reduced by $1 million. Plus, he would be suspended for the first three regular-season games of the 2023-24 season and his contract would go from a multi-year agreement to a year-by-year agreement.

Huggins will be suspended, lose $1 million in salary

West Virginia added that if another incident with offensive language occurs, it will result in Huggins being immediately terminated from his position.

Huggins will also be required to participate in training addressing inequality, including homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, and more.

“We will never truly know the damage that has been done by the words said in those 90 seconds. Words matter and they can leave scars that can never be seen,” wrote WVU President Gordon Gee and AD Wren Baker in a joint statement. “But words can also heal. And by taking this moment to learn more about another’s perspective, speak respectfully and lead with understanding, perhaps the words ‘do better’ will lead to meaningful change for all.”

Bob Huggins accepts the discipline from West Virginia

After the discipline was announced by West Virginia, Huggins issued a statement.

“Over the past 48 hours, I have reflected on the awful words that I shared on a radio program earlier this week. I deeply regret my actions, the hurt they unfairly caused others and the negative attention my words have brought to West Virginia University.

“I also regret the embarrassment and disappointment it has caused our athletics family, members of our campus community and the state of West Virginia. I am sorry for the hurt and distress I have caused our students and our student-athletes. I represent more than just our university and our basketball program, and it pains me to know that I have let so many people down.

“I have no excuse for the language I used, and I take full responsibility. I will abide with the actions outlined by the university and athletics leadership to learn from this incident. I have had several conversations with colleagues and friends that I deeply respect and admire over the last 24 hours, and I am keenly aware of the pain that I have caused. I meant what I wrote on Monday – I will do better.”

Who is Bob Huggins?

Huggins was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. He played point guard for WVU in the mid-1970s. After head coaching stops at Walsh, Akron, Cincinnati, and Kansas State, Huggins became the head coach at West Virginia in 2007.

He has led the Mountaineers to a Final Four in 2010, four Sweet 16s, and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. Last season, the Mountaineers finished 19-15 and had a round of 64 exit in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

This off-season, according to 247Sports, Huggins has pieced together the No. 1 transfer portal class in the country. West Virginia opens the 2023-24 season against Missouri State on November 6.

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Coach Bob Huggins Receives Discipline For Anti-Gay Slur