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College Basketball

Bob Huggins’s Attorney Claims Resignation Was A Wife-Based Email Misunderstanding

12:47 PM EDT on July 9, 2023

Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at the BJCC on March 16, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Bob Huggins shouldn't be in a position to disgrace himself any more than he already has. When you go on the radio and drowsily utter an anti-gay slur, and then lose your job for blowing a 0.21 during a DUI arrest a month later, you've reached what most people would consider a personal and professional rock bottom. And yet, the former West Virginia men's basketball coach has managed to find a way to further humiliate himself.

Huggins's latest embarrassment comes to us from ESPN, which got its hands on some documents related to his departure from the university. An attorney representing Huggins, David Campbell, sent a letter to WVU president Gordon Gee claiming that Huggins never actually resigned from his job, and that he will sue the university if not reinstated. This would come as a shock to anyone who read an official statement that was posted on the WVU's website on June 17, which began, "Today, I have submitted a letter to President Gordon Gee and Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker informing them of my resignation," and was signed by Bob Huggins. So how does Campbell square the existence of that statement with the claim that his client never actually resigned? Simple: a wife email is to blame.

"Based on press statements, it appears that WVU is taking the position that Coach Huggins voluntarily resigned and terminated the Employment Agreement in advance of April 30, 2024 (the day his current contract was set to expire)," Campbell wrote. "However, although the press statements purport to have resignation communications directly from Coach Huggins to you and/or the Athletic Director, Coach Huggins has never communicated his resignation to you, the Athletic Director, or anyone at WVU. To the contrary, we understand that the purported 'resignation' is incredibly based on a text message from Coach Huggins' wife."

The university on Saturday released an email that was sent from an account belonging to "June Huggins" -- Huggins' wife -- to athletic director Wren Baker the day the head coach announced his resignation that said, "Please accept this correspondence as my formal notice of resignation as WVU Head Basketball Coach and as notice of my retirement from West Virginia University, effective immediately."

ESPN

The rickety nature of this legal argument aside, Bob and his lawyer aren't fooling anyone. Every person who has a friend or family member over the age of 65 knows that baby boomers operate in a world where there is no delineation between spousal email accounts. Any message received from either account is understood to be a legally binding statement from both parties.

It's doubtful that Huggins expects or even wants WVU to reinstate him, which means that he's just trying to wriggle out from under his resignation for the sake of securing a wrongful termination payday from the university. Just as soon as he and his lawyer can come up for an explanation as to why June Higgins emailed her husband's employer out of the blue to say, "Please accept this correspondence as my formal notice of resignation as WVU Head Basketball Coach," Huggins will be on his way to cashing a big check.

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