MORGANTOWN — According to a Pittsburgh Police report, WVU head men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins was arrested Friday evening for suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to the report, just prior to 8:30 p.m. Huggins’ black SUV was seen blocking the road on Merchant Street — located in the downtown area just blocks from PNC Park — with the driver side door open and with a tire that was flat and shredded.
Huggins was advised to pull the SUV over to the side of the road and officers “observed him having difficulty maneuvering the SUV.”
According to the report, officers than began to question Huggins and “had strong suspicion to believe the male was intoxicated.” He was then given a field sobriety test, which was failed, according to the report.
Huggins was placed in custody without incident and transported to Special Deployment Division Zone 6 in Pittsburgh, where he was again given a field sobriety test, as well as a breathalyzer, according to a more detailed criminal complaint. He failed the field sobriety test again and his blood-alcohol level was registered at a .210, which is more than double the legal limit of .08 in the state of Pennsylvania.
Huggins was then transported to Mercy Hospital to have his blood drawn and was later released into the custody of Bob Marsonek. A source told The Dominion Post that Marsonek is an associate of J.O. Stright, who is the founder of the JOTS AAU basketball program in Pittsburgh.
The report said Huggins will have a preliminary hearing at a later date.
“West Virginia University is aware of an incident (Friday) night involving Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Huggins, for which he was charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the City of Pittsburgh,” a statement from WVU read. “We are gathering more information and will take appropriate action once the review is complete.”
According to the criminal complaint, Huggins told police he was attending a basketball camp in Sherrodsville, Ohio. When asked by officers how he arrived in Pittsburgh, Huggins could not give a clear and complete answer. At one point, Huggins said, “Columbus, (Ohio)” when asked by officers where he believed he was. Huggins could also not give an explanation as to how his tire got shredded.
Huggins told police he had purchased food at a Burger King and later produced a receipt from a Burger King from Washington Pa. with a time stamp of approximately 1:30 p.m. When asked again how he got to Pittsburgh from Washington, Huggins could not offer a clear explanation.
After being placed into custody, officers observed in Huggins’ SUV a white garbage bag on the floor of the front passenger side with empty beer cans. In the trunk of the vehicle was another white garbage bag with empty beer bottles.
This is the second time Huggins has been charged with a DUI, with the first coming in 2004 in Cincinnati, while he was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
He pleaded no contest to that charge, which began a push from then school president Nancy Zimpher that eventually saw Huggins’ forced resignation in August 2005.
It’s the second time in two months Huggins’ name has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons.
In May, he appeared as a radio guest on 700 WLW in Cincinnati and used a homophobic slur twice directed at Xavier University and its fans during the interview.
WVU penalized Huggins with a three-game suspension and a $1 million reduction in salary, which the school said would go to directly supporting WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center, the Carruth Center and other state and national organizations that support marginalized communities.
As part of his amended contract, Huggins also had his buyout eliminated, and according to a statement made then by WVU President E. Gordon Gee, “We have made it explicitly clear to Coach Huggins that any incidents of similar derogatory and offensive language will result in immediate termination.”
Huggins already has a clause in his contract that states “Substance abuse or habitual insobriety” as a justifiable reason for the school to fire Huggins with cause.