West Virginia coach Bob Huggins twice used a homophobic slur in a radio interview Monday when asked about whether he had recruited — and tried to poach — Xavier players out of the transfer portal. Huggins was being interviewed on Cincinnati radio station WLW 700-AM when hosts Bill Cunningham and Steve Moeller asked if Xavier players had popped on his radar in building out his roster via the transfer portal, and he twice resorted to using a slur while demeaning its Catholic fanbase.
“I tell ya what, any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor and then say they didn’t do it? By god, they could get away with anything,” Huggins said, according to audio obtained by Awful Announcing. (Warning: audio may be considered graphic.)
“Was this at the Crosstown Shootout?” he was asked by the hosts. “It was transgender night, wasn’t it?”
Said Huggins: “It was the Crosstown Shootout. Yeah, what it was, was all those f—, those Catholic f—, I think.”
The segment ended with some awkward dead air and some laughter before the hosts quipped that Huggins was “the best.”
Huggins apologized in a statement Monday afternoon.
“Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry been my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University,” Huggins said in the statement. “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.”
Huggins was a long-time rival of Xavier as the head coach at Cincinnati from 1989-2005 before jumping to Kansas State and then to West Virginia. With a career 935-414 overall record, Huggins has the most wins among all active coaches.
“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 university said in a statement. “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.”