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West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins resigns hours after being arrested for drunk driving

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West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins has resigned after being arrested for drunk driving.

The university announced his resignation on Saturday evening.

Huggins was charged with driving under the influence on Friday night after his SUV pulled up in the middle of Pittsburgh traffic with a shredded tire. According to a criminal complaint, a breath test showed Huggin’s blood alcohol content was 0.21%, more than double the legal limit.

The move will take place one month after The university suspended him for three games for using a homophobic slur during a radio interview while simultaneously denigrating Catholics.

Huggins, 69, was pulled over by police in Pittsburgh on Friday night. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and was released from custody and is due to appear for a preliminary hearing at a later date, according to a police report.

In a statement to the West Virginia community Saturday night, Huggins said, “Today I sent a letter to President Gordon Gee and Vice President and Athletics Director Wren Baker informing them of my resignation and intention to serve as men’s head basketball coach to retire.” at West Virginia University, effective immediately.

“My recent actions do not align with the values ​​of the university or the leadership expected in this role.”

In a separate statement Saturday night, the West Virginia Athletic Department said it had accepted the resignation “in light of recent events.”

“We support his decision so he can focus on his health and family. On behalf of West Virginia University, we thank him for his service to our university, our community and our state.”

The university did not immediately name a replacement for Huggins.

On Friday night, according to the criminal complaint, an officer discovered garbage bags with empty beer containers both inside the vehicle and in the trunk. Huggins said he was at a basketball camp in Sherrodsville, Ohio, with his brother. An official said Huggins was asked several times what city he was in but never received an answer. A breath test showed Huggin’s blood alcohol content to be 0.21%, more than double the Pennsylvania legal limit of 0.08%. Huggins also had a blood sample taken at a hospital before his release.

It was Huggins’ second such arrest. The other happened in 2004 when he was a head coach at Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh officials observed a black SUV in the middle of a road blocking traffic just before 8:30 p.m. Friday night. The vehicle had a flat and shredded tire and the driver’s door was open, police said.

Officers instructed Huggins to pull off the road so they could help with the tire, then turned on their lights upon noticing Huggins was struggling to maneuver the SUV to allow vehicles to pass. When questioned, officers suspected he was intoxicated and asked him to get out of the vehicle. The report said he failed standard on-site sobriety tests, was taken into custody without incident and transported for further testing.

In June 2004, in suburban Cincinnati, Huggins claimed he had no objection to drinking and driving and was sentenced to participate in a three-day intervention program. The University of Cincinnati suspended him indefinitely in return for pay and required Huggins to rehab.

Huggins was allowed to return to work two months later, saying: “I made a terrible mistake and what bothers me the most is that I hurt other people.” All I can do is work like crazy to be a better person, a better coach , to get better at everything I do and to make these people proud of me.”

In 2005, Huggins’ 16-year career with Cincinnati was over; He was fired during a power struggle with the school’s president and after the 2004 arrest.

In 2007, after spending a season at Kansas State, Huggins took his dream job at West Virginia, his alma mater.

Last month, Huggins agreed to a three-game ban, a $1 million pay cut and awareness training with the bow during an interview with Cincinnati radio station WLW. Huggins was asked about the transfer portal and if he had any chance of bringing a player from Xavier, a Jesuit school, to West Virginia.

“Catholics don’t do that,” Huggins said. “Tell you what, any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor and then say they didn’t, by God, they can get away with anything.

“It was the Crosstown Shootout. What it was was all these (swear words), these Catholic (swear words), I think.”

In a joint statement later that week, West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Wren Baker said the university had “expressly made it clear to Coach Huggins that any incidents of similar derogatory and abusive language will result in immediate termination.” “

Huggins’ salary of $4.15 million was cut by $1 million after the smear. This discount was to be used to directly support WVU’s LGBTQ+ center as well as a university mental health center and other groups supporting marginalized communities. At that point, he was suspended for the first three games of the 2023–24 season. Additionally, his contract was changed from a multi-year deal to an annual deal, which began on May 10.

Huggins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last September. In 41 seasons, his teams competed in 25 NCAA tournaments, finished in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll seven times, and finished under .500 five times. The Mountaineers have made 11 NCAA tournament appearances under Huggins.

Huggins had assembled a solid group from the transfer portal for the next season, including Syracuse center Jesse Edwards, Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa, Manhattan guards Jose Perez and Omar Silverio, and Montana state guard RaeQuan Battle.

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