West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was arrested Friday night on a charge of driving under the influence, potentially putting his future with the program in jeopardy with a second controversy in the past six weeks.
School officials learned early Saturday morning about Huggins’ arrest and are gathering facts to make a decision on his fate as coach in the near future.
According to a report from a Pittsburgh Police public information officer, police observed a black SUV blocking traffic just before 8:30 p.m. Friday. The vehicle had a “flat and shredded tire” and the driver’s side door was open.
After directing the driver — identified as Robert Huggins, 69, of Morgantown, West Virginia — to move the vehicle off the road, officers observed Huggins having trouble maneuvering the SUV and pulled him over. The officers questioned Huggins and, believing he was intoxicated, asked him to perform field sobriety tests, which he failed.
Huggins was arrested and charged with a DUI. He was later released, with a preliminary hearing set for a later date.
There were already signs that the 2023-24 season loomed as the final one for Huggins. Along with a $1 million salary reduction and suspension in the aftermath of his use of an anti-gay slur on a Cincinnati radio station, Huggins was essentially given a contract that is guaranteed for only a year, a rarity in college sports.
The contractual amendment was essentially a signal that West Virginia officials controlled Huggins’ future and could ease into a transition to the next staff without worrying about owing him a significant amount of money.
Huggins’ arrest will put pressure on West Virginia officials, who were outraged by his comments and had to fight internally to keep him on for next season amid public pressure.
In a joint statement after Huggins’ radio comments, president Gordon Gee and athletic director Wren Baker called the slurs “inexcusable” and said the comments “tarnished West Virginia University.”
Huggins, a Morgantown native who played for the Mountaineers in college, has coached at his alma mater since 2007. He has guided the school to 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four in 2010. He spent one season at Kansas State after leading Cincinnati to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances from 1992 to 2005.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.