Bob Huggins is demanding reinstatement as the West Virginia men’s basketball coach, as his lawyer claims he never resigned from the position.
The university released a statement last month, which was attributed to Huggins, announcing his resignation as head coach after 16 years with the program, as well as his retirement following a DUI arrest.
However, Huggins’ attorney, David A. Campbell, claims his client never signed a formal resignation letter or told anyone at the university that he was resigning, according to a letter obtained by the West Virginia Metro News.
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«Based on press releases, it appears that WVU is taking the position that Coach Huggins voluntarily resigned and terminated the employment contract by April 30, 2024.» the letter read. «However, although the press releases purport to have resignation communications directly from Coach Huggins to you and/or the athletic director, Coach Huggins has never communicated his resignation to you, the athletic director, or anyone at WVU.»
The letter adds that Huggins’ employment contract says early termination would require him to send the West Virginia athletic director and attorney general «written notice by registered or certified mail.» But that never happened.
Instead, the letter claims that the university received a text message from Huggins’ wife, which ultimately led to West Virginia’s statement.
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After his arrest, Huggins reportedly entered a rehabilitation program.
«Coach Huggins was involved in an incident in Pittsburgh that is now close to being fully resolved without charges. Additionally, Coach Huggins voluntarily sought rehabilitation following the incident to leave no doubt that he is fully capable of returning to his duties as WVU . Head basketball coach,» the letter continues.
Although Huggins wants to return to the Mountaineers program, the university won’t budge.
in a rebuttal letter, Also obtained by West Virginia Metro News, Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Taylor called the situation «completely factually inaccurate.» It also notes that Huggins was working with his longtime attorney, James «Rocky» Giancola, who represented him during talks with the university on June 16 and 17 when he decided to resign, as well as Bob Fitzsimmons «who recently represented Mr. Huggins on various matters».
Taylor said Fitzsimmons called her to discuss the benefits Higgins would receive under his contract following his resignation and retirement.
«It appears to us that you may not be aware that Mr. Fitzsimmons, like other counsel for Mr. Huggins, has been proceeding on the same understanding as the University, and the reality as it exists, that Mr. Huggins has in fact resigned. and is retired,» Taylor said in the letter.
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«In light of all of this, we need confirmation, substantiated by reliable writing, as to who represents Mr. Huggins and what his current legal position is with respect to the University. If Mr. Huggins in any way now maintains that he did do not resign after discussions with your attorney on June 16 and 17, then we would ask whoever is taking that position on your behalf to do their due diligence before asserting a position that is clearly contrary to documented evidence.»
This has become a sticky situation between West Virginia and Huggins, as the former sought to outrun the latter prior to the DUI arrest. Huggins also disgraced the show after directing a homophobic slur at Xavier University fans during a live radio appearance.
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West Virginia has since promoted Josh Eilert, Higgins’ assistant coach, as interim head coach before beginning the head coaching search after the 2023-24 season. Huggins’ resignation has also led to multiple transfers.