MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has been suspended and will operate under an amended contract for the 2023-24 men’s basketball season, following the comments he made Monday in an interview.
Huggins’ punishment includes a salary reduction of $1 million. That money will be used to support WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center, as well as various other organizations that advocate for marginalized groups and mental health awareness. He will also be required to complete trainings that will address “all aspects of inequality.”
In a joint statement Wednesday, WVU president E. Gordon Gee and director of athletics Wren Baker outlined Huggins’ punishment and next steps for the head coach.
Shortly afterward, the head coach responded with the following statement, expressing apologies for “embarrassment and disappointment” he has caused, as well as an eagerness to understand the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in West Virginia:
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.
Huggins will miss the first three games of the 2023-24 season. He will also operate under a year-to-year contract, rather than the multi-year deal he had previously signed.