Could Bob Huggins Actually Return as Head Coach at West Virginia?

Bob Huggins never officially resigned from his position as head coach at West Virginia and wants his job back.  

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Bob Huggins might actually have a case. After reading through the documents exchanged between Huggins’ attorneys and West Virginia University, it’s become clear that he never officially resigned from his position as head coach.

Yes, he met with his players and told them he was resigning. Yes, he posted a message to Mountaineer Nation, informing us of his intention to resign. But he never officially signed a resignation with the university. The only “official” communication he had with the university was an email from his wife June’s email that she sent from her iPhone.

In the email from June Huggins to WVU Deputy AD Steve Uryasz, she wrote, “Please accept this correspondence as my formal resignation as WVU Head Basketball Coach and as a notice of my retirement from West Virginia University, effective immediately.”

The problem here is, of course, that June Huggins was not the head coach at West Virginia, her husband Bob was, and this was written the day after Bob Huggins blew a 0.21 on the breathalyzer and who knows what his condition was when this was sent?

In addition, Huggins was clearly forced to resign under duress. That’s clear. He was given a short amount of time – his daughter said he was given “30 minutes to decide whether to resign or be fired”  – and West Virginia University rushed the whole situation. Huggins was obviously wrong for what he did, but he also informed the university that he was willing to attend rehab and wanted to take some time before an actual decision on his future was made. Again, Huggins was almost certainly still suffering the effects of the previous night of heavy drinking and was in no condition to make any major decisions.

If Huggins was forced to resign under duress, which certainly seems to be the case, then he has a case against the university. If, as reported, he offered to attend rehab and the university said that that wouldn’t change the fact that he would have to resign, then that’s questionable under the Americans with Disabilities Act. And if never actually signed anything stating that he officially resigned from the university, then he has every right to believe that he’s still employed.

Now, will Bob Huggins actually ever sit on his stool at the WVU Coliseum and coach the Mountaineers? I don’t believe so. West Virginia University has clearly dug in their heels and have stated that he will not be reinstated as the head coach. But this certainly appears to be headed towards a long, messy, ugly divorce between Bob Huggins and West Virginia University.