Cover Photo by Gus Schlomer
Morgantown, West Virginia – Bob Huggins has made a career of doing things the right way. For the past 40+ years, he’s gone out of his way to be classy and professional and respectful of the game of basketball.
Last night, Huggins was not very classy. Following a frustrating loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Huggins skipped the handshakes with the opposing team and headed straight for the locker room.
Huggins was clearly exasperated with the poor officiating and perhaps the foolish mistakes made by his players, but ultimately leaving the court without congratulating Oklahoma State players and coaches was just a really bad look for the legendary head coach.
This was a very uncharacteristic, unusual move by Huggins. While he preaches respect from his players, he did not lead by example when he showed poor sportsmanship last night.
While Huggins expects his players to remain cool and collected during games, he spends most of his time on the sidelines on his stool yelling and complaining about virtually every call that goes against the Mountaineers. Huggins spent practically his entire postgame conference talking about Erik Stevenson’s technical foul and how it hurt the team. Stevenson made three 3-pointers in a row, got back on defense and was called for a technical foul for taunting former Oklahoma State guard turned Boston Celtics star Marcus Smart in the crowd. After watching the replay multiple times, it’s clear that Stevenson did nothing but look over at Smart as he made his way back on defense.
If Huggins is going to demand that his players show respect for the game, the referees and the team’s opponents, he should lead by example and do it himself. His constant tirades on the court do little to impact the result of a game and although he is one of the most accomplished, winningest coaches in the history of college basketball, he can still learn from his own mistakes.