It’s easy to say things in hindsight when looking back on controversial decisions.

It’s also easy to say things in the heat of the moment when you feel betrayed or had someone turned his back on you. That’s exactly how Kansas State athletic administrators felt when men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins left to join his alma mater, WVU, in April 2007.

While getting lost on YouTube, I stumbled upon the Kansas State news conference from the day Huggins announced he was leaving Manhattan and heading to Morgantown more than 10 years ago. The trio of KSU President Jon Wefald, Vice President Bob Krause and Athletic Director Tim Weiser sat on a platform and addressed the media, clearly filled with disappointment.

“I think Bob is a good guy, he just made a bad decision,” Weiser said.”

After a 16-year career at Cincinnati, Huggins resigned from the school and sat out a year before accepting the KSU job. During that season, he helped the Wildcats to a 23–12 record and NIT bid, but perhaps his biggest accomplishment was the 2007 recruiting class Huggins help create.

According to rivals.com and scout.com, the Wildcats had the No. 1 class in the country, led by all-world forward Michael Beasley. When Huggins announced he was leaving for WVU, the status of that class — they had already signed their Letters of Intent — was perhaps the biggest concern.

“For us to grant releases, it’s something we have to think is in the best interest of the university and student-athlete,” Weiser said.

Weiser also said that Huggins did not recommend any of his assistants to replace him, but “to be honest with you, I didn’t really even give him a chance.”

Ultimately, KSU hired assistant Frank Martin to become Huggins’ replacement, and Martin was able to keep Beasley on board. In his one season at the school before heading to the NBA, Beasley was a force for the Wildcats, averaging 26.2 points and a nation-leading 12.4 rebounds per game.

Martin spent five seasons at KSU, going 117–54 and reaching the NCAA tournament five times. He took the South Carolina job, in 2012.

Looking back, the doom and gloom attitude from KSU that day ended up being a bit of an exaggeration. Though we don’t know what the Wildcats could have become under Huggins, things were pretty good under Martin.

Here are a few of the highlights from the news conference:

— “I told Huggs, ‘They are never going to love you at West Virginia like we do. You’ll never be more beloved, even if you’re there for 100 years, than you are at Kansas State right now after one year,’ ” — Wefald.

— “We moved Heaven and Earth to keep Bob Huggins, and Tim, in effect, said, ‘You tell us what your salary should be. Whatever West Virginia’s offering, we’ll match it and then some.’ There’s nothing we wouldn’t do to keep Bob Huggins here.”

— “I’m not going to comment on that,” Weiser said when WVU asked to speak to Huggins.

Huggins and WVU ended up facing the Wildcats more often than anyone would have thought when the Mountaineers joined the Big 12, in 2012. Huggins is 9-4 against his previous employer, with the next meeting set for Feb. 3, at the Coliseum.

Follow Sean Manning on Twitter @SeanManning_DP. Email: smanning@dominionpost.com.