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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Bob Huggins Denies Resignation from West Virginia, Asserts Continuity

Bob Huggins, the former West Virginia men’s basketball coach who was detained and charged with driving under the influence, claimed on Monday that he had never resigned from his position and expected to be reinstated after completing a voluntary rehabilitation course, contradicting a statement published by the institution.

According to a statement released by Huggins on Monday, the university’s June 17 announcement of his departure was untrue, and he “did not draught or review WVU’s statement.” Huggins said he had never signed it, hence he had never quit in accordance with the terms of his contract. The institution swiftly appointed a successor one week after he announced his departure.

He expressed regret for “the mistake that I made in Pittsburgh” and that he intended to remain in treatment “until I am cleared to return to my active coaching duties.” West Virginia MetroNews was the first to acquire Huggins’s remarks.
Huggins’ attorney, David A. Campbell, had sent a letter to the university president prior to the release of the statement. In the letter, originally published by West Virginia MetroNews, Campbell wrote that the university had announced Huggins’s retirement based on an email received by his wife, and that the email would not qualify as a resignation under to Huggins’s employment agreement. Campbell said a declaration like that has to be “in writing via registered or certified mail.”

University attorney Stephanie Taylor responded to a second letter from Campbell by expressing her perplexity regarding the status of Huggins’ legal counsel and whether or not Campbell was claiming Huggins had never quit.

Since Bob Huggins didn’t use email and Gianola was “having IT issues,” according to Taylor, Gianola asked the university if it would accept his resignation in the form of an email from his wife, June Huggins.

On Monday, a university representative emailed The Times to say that beyond what had previously been expressed, the school had nothing to add to its reaction to Huggins’ remark. A message left for Gianola was not immediately returned.

The university stated on June 24 that Josh Eilert, who had worked for West Virginia for 16 years as a coach’s assistant under Bob Huggins, would take over as interim head coach for the 2023–24 season until a nationwide search was conducted.

Before his arrest, Huggins’ position was under risk. Huggins was taken off the team in May after he made fun of Catholics and used a homophobic slur twice during a live radio appearance. The university responded by reducing his annual salary from $4.15 million to $4 million, mandating that he complete sensitivity training, and suspending him for the first three games of the 2023-2024 season.

Huggins, at 69 years old, spent 38 years at the helm of four different Division I men’s basketball programmes, winning 863 games. Huggins, who was the winningest coach in the NBA at the time of his announcement from West Virginia, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

Dan O'Brien
Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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