West Virginia Does Not Fire Bob Huggins After Using Homophobic Epithet, Punishes Him In Three Ways

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Bob Huggins reportedly will not be fired in wake of an on-air incident earlier this week. West Virginia announced its decision on Wednesday, two days after his remarks.

Huggins, 69, used a homophobic epithet on a live radio show on Monday.

Ironically, his use of the word came a few years after inviting Tom Brennaman to speak to his program, the former Reds announcer who was fired for using the same slur.

Huggins did not learn from Brennaman’s message and will have to deal with the repercussions of his actions, but will not be fired.

West Virginia came to the following three-fold conclusion:

  • Huggins’ salary will be reduced by $1 million.
    • His contract will be reduced from multi-year to one year.
  • He will under go sensetivity training.
  • He will receive a three-game suspension to start the season.

A new sensitivity training course will be required of Huggins and all current and future athletics coaching staff.

The Athletics Department will partner with WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center to develop annual training sessions that will address all aspects of inequality including homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism and more.

— West Virginia University

In addition, to address the concerns of West Virginia’s transgender youth, Huggins will be required to meet with LGBTQ+ leaders from across the state, with guidance from the leadership of West Virginia University’s LGBTQ+ Center. He will also be required to meet with leadership from WVU’s Carruth Center to better understand the mental health crisis amongst students. Huggins is expected to engage in other opportunities to show support for the LGBTQ+ community as well.

As for his salary, Huggins made $4.2 million in 2022/23. His amended salary will be reduced to $3.2 million, one of the largest reductions in college sports history. His contract will be cut from multiple years to just one. Any incidents of similar nature will result in immediate termination.

Huggins issued an apology through the university a few hours after using the slur. He has also volunteered to make a “substantial” donation to Xavier University’s Center for Faith and Justice, and its Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Huggins then met with West Virginia president Gordon Gee on Tuesday and expressed remorse for his actions. Although the Mountaineers have yet to issue an official statement, Thamel’s report is expected to be how the situation will play out. It was a decision made by Gee and the school’s administration, the board of trustees, and the athletic department.

Bob Huggins issued the follwing 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.

I am looking forward to working with WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center and other state organizations to learn more about the issues facing the community. As a leader, I am eager to use my platform to take what I learn and share it with a broader audience.

I also regret my comments regarding Xavier University. I am hopeful that my personal donation to the university to support its Center for Faith and Justice and its Center for Diversity and Inclusion will further the work it does and the impact it has on its students.

West Virginia and West Virginia University are my home. I love this University and know first-hand that the education and experiences students receive here make a difference. I am truly sorry for the damage I have done. And I am grateful for the chance to move forward in a way that positively represents this University and our state.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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