West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins was arrested Friday night in Pittsburgh on a charge of driving under the influence, potentially putting his future with the program in jeopardy with a second controversy in the past six weeks.
According to a police report, a breath test determined that Huggins’ blood alcohol content was 0.21%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08% in Pennsylvania. A blood sample also was taken from Huggins at a hospital prior to his release.
“We are gathering more information and will take appropriate action once the review is complete,” West Virginia said in a statement Saturday.
Huggins was arrested after Pittsburgh Police observed a black SUV blocking traffic just before 8:30 p.m. Friday. The vehicle had a “flat and shredded tire” and the driver’s side door was open.
After directing the driver — identified as Robert Huggins, 69, of Morgantown, West Virginia — to move the vehicle off the road, officers observed Huggins having trouble maneuvering the SUV and pulled him over. The officers questioned Huggins and, believing he was intoxicated, asked him to perform field sobriety tests, which he failed.
Huggins told officers he had been to a basketball camp with his brother in Sherrodsville, Ohio — about 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. An officer said Huggins was asked multiple times what city he was in but never got a clear response, with the coach mentioning the city of Columbus a few times.
The officer also noted garbage bags with empty beer containers both inside the vehicle and in the trunk, according to the criminal complaint.
There already were signs that the 2023-24 season loomed as the final one for Huggins. Along with receiving a $1 million salary reduction and a three-game suspension in the aftermath of his use of an anti-gay slur on a Cincinnati radio station, Huggins was essentially given a contract that is guaranteed for only a year, a rarity in college sports.
The contractual amendment was essentially a signal that West Virginia officials controlled Huggins’ future and could ease into a transition to the next staff without worrying about owing him a significant amount of money.
Huggins’ arrest will put pressure on West Virginia officials, who said they were outraged by his comments and had to fight internally to keep him on for next season amid public pressure.
In a joint statement after Huggins’ radio comments, president Gordon Gee and athletic director Wren Baker called the slurs “inexcusable” and said the comments “tarnished West Virginia University.”
Huggins, a Morgantown native who played for the Mountaineers in college, has coached at his alma mater since 2007 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. He has guided the Mountaineers to 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four in 2010. Huggins spent one season at Kansas State after leading Cincinnati to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances from 1992 to 2005.
Huggins was convicted of drunken driving in 2004 while at Cincinnati after pleading no contest. He was suspended for approximately two months by the school and ordered to undergo rehabilitation. But the conviction led to a standoff with then-university president Nancy Zimpher that ultimately resulted in Huggins resigning as Bearcats coach the following year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.