MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has apologized for “abhorrent” comments made during an interview Monday on a Cincinnati radio program.
Huggins was a guest on 700 WLW, and made an inappropriate comment in reference to Xavier basketball fans and the Xavier University community.
“Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry between my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University. During the conversation, I used a completely insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for — and I won’t try to make one here,” Huggins said in a statement. “I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University.
Huggins used the phrase “Catholic f**s,” in reference to Xavier fans, when discussing the Crosstown Shootout, a rivalry between Cincinnati and Xavier. Huggins coached at Cincinnati from 1989-2005.
In the statement, the head coach added that he will accept consequences for his actions.
“As I have shared with my players over my 40 years of coaching, there are consequences for our words and actions, and I will fully accept any coming my way,” Huggins said. “I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”
WVU’s athletic department also released a separate statement, acknowledging Huggins’ apology.
“Coach Huggins’ remarks today on a Cincinnati radio show were insensitive, offensive and do not represent our University values. Coach Huggins has since apologized,” the statement reads. “West Virginia University does not condone the use of such language and takes such actions very seriously. The situation is under review and will be addressed by the University and its athletics department.”
WVU director of athletics Wren Baker also commented publicly on the situation Monday night during a Coach’s Caravan stop in Wheeling. He said the situation unfolded while he was traveling to Wheeling for the event.
“I had a chance to talk briefly with coach. He expressed his remorse,” Baker said. “We’ll work through what the next couple of days look like, but for now, that’s the only information that we have.”
Huggins has served as West Virginia’s head men’s basketball coach since 2007, and is currently the active career wins leader in Division I men’s basketball. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.
Audio from the interview can be heard here.