Bob Huggins calls Xavier fans homophobic slur while on Cincinnati radio

WVU men's basketball coach releases apology
Bob Huggins
Posted at 5:55 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 18:11:04-04

CINCINNATI — Some fans are calling for West Virginia men's basketball coach Bob Huggins to be fired after he said a homophobic slur multiple times during an interview on Cincinnati radio.

The former UC coach referred to fans of rival Xavier as "Catholic f**s" while talking to 700WLW's Bill Cunningham on Monday.

"Have you poached any Xavier guys to come to West Virginia?" Cunningham asks in audio posted by Awful Announcing.

"Catholics don't do that," Huggins responds. "I tell you what, any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor and then say they didn't do it, by God they can get away with anything."

Cunningham and former Huggins assistant Steve Moeller, can be heard laughing.

"I think it was transgender night, wasn't it?" Cunningham says.

"It was a Crosstown Shootout, yeah no, what it was was all those f**s, those Catholic f**s, I think is what it was," Huggins responds. "They were envious they didn't have one."

After Huggins's comments, Cunningham can be heard laughing.

"Is he the best?" Cunningham asks Moeller.

"He's the best," Moeller says.

"The best ever," Cunningham follows.

After the show, WCPO reached out to Huggins on the phone. When asked about his comments, Huggins responded, "I'm not doing this, man. I'm not doing this." Shortly after, West Virginia men's basketball posted a statement on Twitter from Huggins.

"Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry between my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University," Huggins said in the statement. "During the conversation, I used a completely insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for — and I won't try to make one here.

"I deeply apology to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University. As I have shared with my players over my 40 years of coaching, there are consequences for our words and actions, and I will fully accept any coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better."

On Tuesday, Cunningham took to the airwaves as scheduled, but did not address the comments made during Monday's show. He has yet to issue a statement of any kind since the remarks aired.

WVU's athletic department released a statement soon after, calling Huggins' remarks "insensitive" and "offensive."

"West Virginia University does not condone the use of such language and takes such actions very seriously," WVU Sports said. "The situation is under review and will be addressed by the university and its athletic department."

Ash Orr, president of Morgantown Pride, said the athletic department needs to take action.

"There needs to be a Safe Zone Training for all WVU athletics, including directors coaches, as well as their team members," Orr said. "Ideally, I think Coach Huggins needs to be issuing his resignation. Realistically I do not believe that will happen."

On Tuesday, Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz released a statement in response to the slur Huggins' used to refer to the school.

"Our mission as a Jesuit Catholic university is to educate each student intellectually, morally and spiritually; to provide an inclusive environment of open and free inquiry; and, to prepare students for a world that is increasingly diverse, complex and interdependent," the statement reads. "Our commitment is to educating the whole person, promoting the common good and serving others."

In 2020, months after former Reds announcer Thom Brennaman was taken off the air for using the same homophobic slur, Huggins had Brennaman come to WVU and speak with his team about accountability and "(confronting) mistakes head on."

Before Huggins' WVU team took on Xavier in December 2022, he commented that he "(doesn't) have any good thoughts about Xavier whatsoever. None. Absolutely none." Huggins was 8-8 against the Musketeers while the Bearcats' head coach from 1989 to 2005.

Former Covington Catholic star CJ Fredrick transferring to Cincinnati
Miami women's basketball coach resigns following investigation, university says
Alabama baseball coach fired after suspicious betting at Great American Ball Park