West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins will return to coaching next season after being suspended for three games and agreeing to a million-dollar salary reduction for using an anti-gay slur in a radio interview. Huggins’ suspension will occur during the team’s first three regular-season games. His contract will be amended to a year-by-year agreement, beginning on May 10, 2023, and ending on April 30, 2024. This amendment will reduce his salary from $4.2 million to $3.2 million, making it one of the most massive salary reductions in college athletics.
Training and Education Requirements for Huggins
West Virginia University said that the school would partner with the university’s LGBTQ+ Center to develop annual training sessions that will address all aspects of inequality, including homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and ableism. Coach Huggins and all current and future athletics coaching staff will be required to participate in these training and programming sessions. Additionally, Coach Huggins will meet with LGBTQ+ leaders from across West Virginia and will be required to meet with leadership from the university’s Carruth Center to raise awareness of how they can best support their students’ health and well-being.
Donation from Huggins’ Reduced Salary
Coach Huggins has agreed to make “a substantial donation” to Xavier University to support the school’s Center for Faith and Justice and Center for Diversity and Inclusion for the disparaging way in which the Catholic faith was characterized in the comments. Furthermore, the $1 million from Huggins’ salary reduction will support the university’s LGBTQ+ Center, the Carruth Center, and other state and national organizations that support marginalized communities.
Huggins’ Apology and Future
Coach Huggins expressed contrition for his remarks and issued an apology. In his statement, he said that he regrets the embarrassment and disappointment he has caused the university and its community. He represents more than just the university and the basketball program, and he is sorry for the hurt and distress he has caused the students and student-athletes. Huggins is a West Virginia graduate and a Hall of Fame coach who has an 863-389 record at four Division I schools since getting the Akron job in 1984. 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.
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