West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins is expected to return to the sideline next season in the wake of using an anti-gay slur in a radio interview earlier this week, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
The university decision is in the process of being completed Wednesday, and the details have yet to be finalized. Huggins has agreed to a million-dollar salary reduction, a significant suspension and sensitivity training.
Huggins, 69, is expected to sign the amended contract agreement Wednesday, according to sources. Huggins’ amended salary reduces what he makes from $4.2 million to $3.2 million. The million-dollar salary reduction is believed to be one of the biggest in college athletics.
Huggins met with president Gordon Gee on Tuesday and expressed contrition for the remarks, sources told ESPN. The decision came from the highest levels of the school, including Gee and the university administration, the school’s board of trustees and the athletic department.
The decision came after nearly two days of deliberations, as Huggins appeared on a Cincinnati-area radio station Monday. The university soon after condemned his words and announced that it was reviewing the incident.
In a radio interview on News Radio 700 WLW in Cincinnati, where Huggins used to coach (at the University of Cincinnati), he discussed an incident with the host where Huggins recalled “rubber penises” were thrown on the floor of a Crosstown Shootout game between Cincinnati and Xavier.
Huggins then said, “What it was, was all those f-gs, those Catholic f-gs, I think.”
The audio emerged on the media industry website Awful Announcing and quickly spread. The remarks sparked a significant backlash, and Huggins issued an apology that included: “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.”
Huggins, a West Virginia graduate, is a Hall of Fame coach who has an 863-389 record at four Division I schools since getting the Akron job in 1984. Huggins has also coached at Kansas State. Along the way, he emerged as one of the most successful and divisive coaches of the last generation. He has been at West Virginia since 2007 and has led the school to a 345-203 record, 11 NCAA tournaments and the 2010 Final Four.
Sources – Bob Huggins to take $1M salary reduction for anti-gay slur