I dare you to find one article from any journalist in the state other than me disagreeing with anything that Bob Huggins has done since coming to Morgantown. Just one. He’s been here since 2007 and not one journalist has disagreed with one thing that he’s said.
Although he is one of the best, most accomplished coaches in college basketball history, he is not above being questioned or criticized. In fact, the West Virginia media has done Huggins a grave disservice by never challenging him. Huggins is a quick wit and can handle himself just fine if challenged, but the media is terrified to do anything but lob softballs at him over and over and over again.
This is precisely why all of Huggins’ postgame interviews are exactly the same. Re-watch a postgame conference from 2008 and one from 2019. The questions, the tone, the whole thing is exactly the same. The only thing different is the players’ names. “Player A made a bad pass. Player B didn’t rebound. Player C didn’t run offense. Players D-H can’t make a basket.”
The media is intended to be an active participant in this process, but somewhere along the way, West Virginians started to believe that head coaches are faultless and should not be questioned. I have trailblazed the rather common practice of criticizing coaches and players in West Virginia, and of course I am immediately labeled a “West Virginia hater”, “bad for the program”, etc. Huggins even referenced me during the season and called me “the guy with 3 Twitter followers” after I questioned his ridiculous substitution patterns following particularly bad back-to-back losses against TCU and Texas in February.
Huggins made the obvious observation that he knows more about basketball than me, that he has been doing this his whole life and been pretty successful at it, etc. The truth is that I love West Virginia sports more than life itself and will risk my reputation (or what’s left of it) to bring the relationship between the media and coaches into this century. I’ll take the lumps and the unfair hate mail and I will keep doing what I do because I care.
Bob Huggins knows more about basketball than I do. There is no question about that. I’m so glad that he’s our head coach and I wouldn’t want anyone else leading our Mountaineers.
With that said, Bob Huggins doesn’t poop gold nuggets. He makes mistakes and those mistakes should be examined, rather than simply being dismissed or put on the backs of his players. It’s an incredible injustice to Coach Huggins, the players and the fans for journalists in our state to continue to cower and hide behind the truth.
Challenge: Find ONE article from a West Virginia journalist other than myself in the past 13 years that said Bob Huggins made a mistake. Send that article to me and I’ll give you a $100 bill.
Can’t find it? It doesn’t exist. Don’t you find that fascinating and unusual?