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Bob Huggins Claims West Virginia FAKED His Resignation Statement


Bob Huggins has claimed that West Virginia falsified the published statement and attributed it to him when he announced his resignation.

West Virginia announced on June 17 that Huggins had resigned following his drunk driving arrest, releasing a statement attributed to him.

Huggins was charged with driving under the influence in Pittsburgh on June 16.

A breath test determined that Huggins’ blood alcohol content was more than double the legal limit. His resignation was announced by the university the following night.

But since then, the 69-year-old has claimed he never quit as West Virginia’s basketball coach and threatened a lawsuit if he didn’t get his job back.

Bob Huggins has claimed West Virginia falsified his resignation announcement

The potential legal battle escalated Monday when Huggins issued a statement claiming the resignation letter was “false.”

“I now understand that WVU released a statement purportedly written by me at 10:30 p.m. on June 17, 2023…I did not author or review WVU’s statement,” Huggins wrote in the statement, obtained by Juan Fanta.

‘This false statement was sent in my name, but no signature is included. In addition, the false, unsigned statement was accompanied by a joint statement from the president and the athletic director that clearly implied that they received this purported resignation letter from me.

‘[…] I am employed by WVU pursuant to an Employment Agreement. I never submitted the notice required under the Employment Agreement to resign voluntarily.

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‘I let WVU know that I was looking for rehab. However, WVU was not willing to talk to me about the Pittsburgh event or give me time to get a lawyer to review my Employment Agreement. I met with my players on June 17, 2023 and told them the truth: I didn’t know what would happen to me, but if I wasn’t their coach, I hoped I would be replaced by a coach that I recommended to WVU. Most importantly, whether I stayed or not, I was encouraging players to stay at WVU. My players come first and they needed to hear my support for WVU directly from me.

‘Now that I have obtained a lawyer to review the Employment Agreement and have seen WVU’s comments on my current status, it is clear that WVU did not handle the situation appropriately.

‘More importantly, the basketball program is in need and I have a strong desire to conclude my career as the Head Basketball Coach for the program that I love. I look forward to meeting with WVU in the near future to resolve this situation.’

Huggins’ statement follows a letter from his attorney sent to the university last week.

Huggins was charged with driving under the influence in Pittsburgh on June 16.

Huggins was charged with driving under the influence in Pittsburgh on June 16.

Huggins’ Cleveland-based attorney, David A. Campbell, wrote to the university Friday that Huggins “never signed a letter of resignation and has never communicated a resignation to anyone at WVU,” according to the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Saturday. .

Campbell’s letter said the university announced Huggins’ resignation “based on a text message from Coach Huggins’ wife” to Steve Uryasz, West Virginia’s assistant athletic director.

The university responded to Campbell in a letter Saturday that said, in part: “We are frankly confused by the allegations within the letter.”

WVU said Huggins met with his players and basketball staff members on June 17 “to announce that he would no longer coach the team.”

It said Huggins “clearly” communicated his resignation and withdrawal in writing and that “both parties have reasonably relied on that notice of resignation and withdrawal in various ways since.”

The university provided The AP with a copy of a notice sent by Huggins’ wife, June, earlier that day. She read, “Please accept this correspondence as my formal notice of resignation as WVU Head Basketball Coach and notice of my retirement from West Virginia University, effective immediately.”

The notice was sent from an email address associated with June Huggins, with a signature indicating it was sent via an iPhone. It was sent to Uryasz’s email address and did not appear to be a text message, as Campbell claimed.

West Virginia athletic director Wren Baker responded an hour later writing: ‘We accept his resignation and wish him the best in retirement. We appreciate his many years of dedication to WVU.’

Less than an hour after that, the university issued two statements. One announced Huggins’ resignation.

The other was titled ‘A Message from Bob Huggins to the WVU Community’ and began: ‘Today, I have sent a letter to President Gordon Gee and Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker informing them of my resignation and intent to step down as Head Coach. men’s basketball at West Virginia University effective immediately.’

Assistant coach Josh Eilert was promoted to interim head coach for the 2023-24 season.

The resignation was announced a month after the university suspended Huggins for three games for using an anti-gay slur while denigrating Catholics during a radio interview.

Assistant coach Josh Eilert was promoted to interim head coach for the 2023-24 season

Assistant coach Josh Eilert was promoted to interim head coach for the 2023-24 season

Several of Huggins’ players have already entered the transfer portal and some have found new teams.

Campbell said Huggins’ contract required the coach to send written notice by registered or certified mail to the university’s athletic director and general counsel.

Despite the threat of a lawsuit, Campbell’s letter said that Huggins “does not want litigation.” Rather, he is simply seeking correction of a clear breach of his employment contract with WVU.’

Huggins was the third-winningest coach of all time in Division I with 935 wins, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (1,202) and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (1,015), both of whom retired.

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