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One of Xavier’s longtime foils is gone

Bob Huggins couldn’t outlast his demons and has paid with his job.

West Virginia v Maryland
When happy hour is over
Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images

I took a couple of days to consider this topic before writing on it. The basic outline is this: Bob Huggins SUV was found at about 830pm Friday with him at the wheel. The vehicle was stopped in traffic and had a shredded tire. Huggins didn’t know how he had gotten where he was or why the tire was shredded. There were garbage bags of empty beer cans in the vehicle and Huggins repeatedly made references that seemed to indicate he thought he was in Columbus. He wasn’t, he was in Pittsburgh. Huggins blew a .210 on the breathalyzer and submitted to a blood test as well. Results on that are still pending. These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.

Huggins “resigned” on Saturday. I put that in quotes because after his other indiscretions this offseason, he was likely out of work either way. The resignation came quickly after the arrest and seemed to indicate the end of Huggins career. While Huggins didn’t use ChatGPT like Ja Morant, his language in this resignation letter closely mirrored that of the apology he issued after he used homophobic language and disparaged Catholics just over a month ago.

There is a temptation in the aftermath of this to rejoice. Bob Huggins has demonstrated time and again that he is not a good person. He’s been arrested for OVI before, his UC teams were laden with players who had been arrested themselves, and the academic standards he held there didn’t seem to extend far past being able to spell your own name correctly seven times out of ten. The hint of scandal, and outright scandal, has followed Huggins everywhere he has gone.

So yes, there is reason to see this as the world self-correcting a bit. Bad things happen to a bad person is not exactly reason for any sort of serious concern. If anyone has earned public scorn and job loss (after earning an incredible amount of money) it’s Bob Huggins.

But there is also reason to consider this a cautionary tale. Some “but for the grace of God, there go I,” reflection may be in order. Huggins was the winningest active coach in the game. He was third winningest all time. He was, by any measure, incredibly successful. Even given all that, even given that a $1 million reduction in salary this season after his comments in May still meant he would make $3.2 million this season, Huggins was felled by his own flaws.

Bob Huggins will never be a compassionate figure, certainly not with a fanbase he hurled invective at constantly over the years. He does represent what happens when someone doesn’t take the action he said he would. It doesn’t appear that Huggins did any of the reflection or getting better he said he would. Instead, he just gave in to the same demons he’d barely been trying to fight off in the first place.

So smile and laugh a bit. Huggins didn’t kill anyone, thank God, and the only person he hurt was himself. West Virginia will have to rebuild their team this year, but they are the ones who picked up the scorpion in the first place. (Kerr Kriisa to Xavier, anyone?). Just remember for a moment that talk accomplishes nothing. The only way to beat your struggles is to actually work through them with the people close to you. Otherwise you to may end up standing in Pittsburgh, wondering where it all went wrong.