West Virginia suspends coach Bob Huggins, reduces salary $1 million for using homophobic slur on radio


West Virginia has suspended Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins and will reduce his salary by $1 million after he made homophobic remarks Monday aimed at Xavier’s fanbase in a live appearance on a Cincinnati radio station, according to 247Sports. Huggins apologized just hours after he made them in an official statement from West Virginia, but the comments triggered an official review from the university that ultimately led to his suspension. The school is expected to make an official announcement on Wednesday, and the suspension is likely to be for three games. 

Huggins’ comments made on WLW 700-AM came after he was asked by host Bill Cunningham if he ever tried poaching Xavier players – who were long his rival when he coached at Cincinnati from 1989-2005 – to transfer to the Mountaineers. In response, he launched into denigrating Musketeer fans.

Huggins answered by accusing fans of Xavier, a Jesuit school, of throwing rubber penises on the court at the Crosstown Shootout. 

“Yeah, what it was was all those f—, those Catholic f—, I think,” Huggins said, using a homophobic slur. 

The segment ended with Cunningham rhetorically asking co-host Steve Moeller, a former assistant coach for Huggins at Cincinnati, if he is “the best.”

“He’s the best,” Moeller responded. 

With 935 career wins, Huggins, a 2022 Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer, is the winningest active men’s basketball coach in college basketball. 

Huggins was a point guard for the Mountaineers from 1975-77 before starting his coaching career as an assistant at West Virginia in 1977. Huggins made several stops before becoming a head coach at Walsh, Akron and eventually Cincinnati in 1989, where he coached until 2005. During his time with the Bearcats he amassed a 398-128 overall record with 10 regular-season conference championships, four Sweet 16 appearances and 14 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Huggins then made a brief, one-season stop in the Big 12 at Kansas State before joining the Big East by taking the West Virginia coaching job in 2007. He guided the Mountaineers from the Big East to the Big 12 in 2012 and has nearly equaled his win total at West Virginia as he accumulated with the Bearcats with 345 wins and 203 losses across 16 seasons at his alma mater.

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