Former West Virginia coach Bob Huggins enters diversion program after drunken driving arrest


By JOHN RABY AP Sports Writer

Former West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has entered a 12-month diversion program to resolve a drunken driving arrest.

Huggins had been scheduled for a formal arraignment on Thursday. According to court records in Pittsburgh, that hearing was canceled last month after he was accepted into the program. Under the agreement, his one-year probation period can be done after six months if he meets all conditions, including completion of an alcohol treatment program.

Huggins was assessed $2,810 in court costs and fees, including $300 for an alcohol highway safety program. His driver’s license was suspended for at least 60 days.

The diversion program was first reported by West Virginia network MetroNews.

Huggins stopped his SUV in the middle of traffic in Pittsburgh with a shredded tire on June 16. A breath test determined his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit and he was arrested.

West Virginia announced the next day that Huggins had resigned, based in part on a text message sent from the cellphone of Huggins’ wife to a deputy athletic director. A week later, an interim replacement was named for the 2023-24 season.

It wasn’t until July 8 that Huggins released a statement saying he never officially stepped down and wanted to keep his job. He also said he had checked into a rehabilitation facility.

West Virginia has steadfastly maintained its stance that Huggins resigned, even though he accused the university of issuing a “false statement” sent in his name that he didn’t write or review.

Add to that Huggins’ use of an anti-gay slur and denigration of Catholics during a radio interview in May. After that incident, Huggins was suspended for three games, his salary of $4.15 million was cut by $1 million and his contract was reduced to a year-by-year review.

Under the contract Huggins signed in 2021, the university could have fired him for cause for conduct resulting in criminal charges, regardless of a conviction.

Huggins entered the Basketball Hall of Fame last September. The 69-year-old Huggins was the third-winningest coach all-time in Division I with 935 victories, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (1,202) and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse (1,015), both of whom are retired.

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