MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — While most people in the state of West Virginia uniformly agree that Bob Huggins should remain the head coach of the Mountaineers, virtually every national media member believes that his punishment wasn’t nearly harsh enough.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde believes that Huggins received nothing more than a slap on the wrist for his insensitive remarks that he made on a Cincinnati radio station. “The bottom line at West Virginia is this”, Forde said. “Bob Huggins matters more than the community he denigrated.”
Forde went on to say that Bob Huggins is officially the “most powerful person in the state of West Virginia”, saying, “WVU made its pecking order clear. Nobody else at the university could have gotten away with that casual public spewing of hate speech and kept their job with relatively minor repercussions. Nor could any politician, coal baron or other leader in the state.”
Forde added that Huggins’ 3-game suspension was certainly not enough and it’s hard to argue considering the Mountaineers play Missouri State, Monmouth and Jacksonville State to start the season. West Virginia has a real opportunity to be a national contender next season and the team’s success was clearly the priority.
Bob Huggins will remain the most beloved figure in West Virginia regardless of what happens in the future. He’s above criticism in the state. Although that’s the case in West Virginia, it’s certainly not around the country. Huggins’ reputation has been damaged and he has a long way to go in repairing his image moving forward.