Morgantown, West Virginia – During every West Virginia basketball game, commentators express shock and dismay with the fact that Bob Huggins has not been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Huggins, who currently has 894 career wins, is once again an eligible candidate for this year’s Hall of Fame class. Huggins joins Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, Chauncey Billups and Jay Wright as candidates who are returning to the ballot.
Although Huggins has been nominated several times previously, and many feel that he should have already been inducted, this really feels like the year that it will actually happen.
According to the Basketball Hall of Fame website, “finalists for the Class of 2021 will be announced in the time frame of the NBA All Star Weekend, which is scheduled for early March. The entire Class of 2021, including those selected by the direct elect committees, will be unveiled in the time frame of the NCAA Final Four scheduled for early April.”
In 38 years of coaching, Huggins has built an incredible coaching resume, but there are a couple of things that could be preventing him from being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
#1 – Huggins is one of only ten coaches in college basketball history with 800 or more victories, he’s been to 24 NCAA tournaments, has led his teams to nine Sweet Sixteen appearances, four Elite Eights and two Final Fours, but he has never won a national championship, which is ultimately what separates him from Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun, Bob Knight, Jim Boeheim and Coach K.
In addition, while he recently passed Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith in total career win, they both have three national championships between them.
#2 – Although Huggins has led one of the cleanest basketball programs in the nation, his embarrassing dismissal from Cincinnati following a drunk and driving arrest back in 2005 has been a permanent black eye on his otherwise flawless record as a head coach.
This, of course, is unfortunate, but the Hall of Fame expects their candidates to be pillars on and off the court. With that said, could one bad night 15 years ago really be the determining factor of what he’s done on and off the court during rest of his long and illustrious career?
A lack of a national championship and the arrest in 2005 are the only two possible explanations for him not being inducted by now. However, numbers don’t lie and Bob Huggins has produced wins better than almost anyone in the history of the game.
With that said, I fully expect Bob Huggins to be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 2021.