What the hell was he thinking?
WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins is the winningest active coach in D-I college basketball. He’s won 934 games over a career that’s spanned more than 40 years. He’s a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, and one of only six college coaches ever with more than 900 career victories.
Huggins has been the head coach at his alma mater since 2007, after previous stops at Kansas State and Cincinnati, among others.
He’s known for his gruff, no-bullshit demeanor (and his tracksuits on the sideline), but man did he put his foot in his mouth on this one.
The coach called in for a radio interview this morning with Bill Cunningham on 700 WLW in Cincinnati, a place that Huggins knows well after spending 16 years as the head coach at the University of Cincinnati.
And while they were yucking it up, Cunningham jokingly asked Huggins if he had poached any players from Cincinnati’s rival school, Xavier, in the transfer portal.
Huggins responded by taking a jab at the Catholic school – his former rival from his days at Cincy:
“Catholics don’t do that.
Any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor and then say they didn’t do it, by God they can get away with anything.”
Huggins was apparently referencing an incident where Xavier fans had thrown sex toys onto the floor while he was the coach at Cincinnati.
The host then said:
“I think it was transgender night wasn’t it?”
Huggins then responded with a homophobic slur – not once, but twice:
Huggins quickly issued an apology for his language during the interview:
“Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry between my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University. 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 any coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”
The university also issued a statement indicating that they’re reviewing the situation and will be addressing it:
“Coach Huggins’ remarks today on a Cincinnati radio show were insensitive, offensive and do not represent our university values. Coach Huggins has since apologized.
West Virginia University does not condone the use of such language and takes such actions very seriously. The situation is under investigation and will be addressed by the university and its athletic department.”
So is this how Huggins’ hall of fame career is going to end? Making fun of his rivals from nearly two decades ago?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the university decides. But either way, not a great look for a legendary coach.