West Virginia Basketball Coach Bob Huggins Uses Homophobic Slur, Apologizes for ‘Insensitive and Abhorrent Phrase’

West Virginia's Bob Huggins sparked backlash after uttering a homophobic slur multiple times during an appearance on a local radio show on Monday.

Bob Huggins image for news post

Image via Getty/Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

Bob Huggins image for news post

West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has been called out after using a homophobic slur multiple times during an appearance on 700 WLW’s Bill Cunningham Show Monday.

Around the one-minute mark of the below clip, Huggins referred to Xavier University’s fans as “Catholic f**s.” 

“Any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor, and say they didn’t do it, they can get away with anything,” Huggins said. “What it was, was all those f**s, those Catholic f**s.”

⚠️ Here’s the audio of Bob Huggins calling Xavier fans “Catholic f--s” during an appearance on Bill Cunningham’s WLW radio show in Cincinnati pic.twitter.com/JTftGx9rQE

— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 8, 2023

Hours later, Huggins issued an apology for his comments, which he referred to as “completely insensitive and abhorrent.”

Released through the official WVU men’s basketball accounts, the statement reads, “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. 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. 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. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”


— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) May 8, 2023

In its own statement, WVU Athletics wrote Monday afternoon, “Coach Huggins’ remarks today on a Cincinnati radio show were insensitive, offensive and do not represent our University values. Coach Huggins has since apologized. 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.”

Huggins was a longtime rival of Xavier University, a private school in Cincinnati, when he was the head coach of theCincinnati Bearcats from 1989 to 2005. During his tenure at Cincinnati, Huggins led the team to to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, highlighted by four trips to the Sweet 16, three appearances in the Elite Eight, and one trip to the Final Four. 

After leaving Cincinnati following the 2004-05 season, Huggins spent one year at Kansas State, before he was hired by West Virginia. The coach has spent the past 16 seasons leading the Mountaineers to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, including five trips to the Sweet 16. 

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