Jeff BorzelloESPN staff writer4 minutes to read
The potential legal battle between Bob Huggins and West Virginia continued to simmer Monday, with Huggins issuing a statement saying he never served a notice of resignation to the school and therefore should remain as the school’s men’s basketball coach.
A June 17 advertisement issued by the school and attributed to Huggins announced that he had resigned after being arrested the previous night for drunk driving. The arrest came just six weeks after Huggins used homophobic slurs in a radio interview, which resulted in a three-game suspension and a $1 million pay cut.
However, in his statement Monday, Huggins said the June 17 ad was not written by him.
“I did not draft or revise the WVU Manifesto,” Huggins wrote. “This false statement was sent in my name, but no signature was included… I am an employee of WVU pursuant to the employment agreement. I never gave the notice required by the employment agreement to resign voluntarily.”
He also wrote that he did not tell his players of his decision to resign at the June 17 meeting, only telling them that he did not know what would happen.
Huggins added that he has voluntarily entered rehab and plans to stay there until he is “allowed to return to it.” [his] Active coaching duties.
Last week, David A. Campbell, an attorney representing Huggins, He sent a letter to West Virginia saying that the e-mail of Huggins’ resignation came from Huggins’ wife, June Huggins. As a result, Campbell claimed, Huggins never officially resigned.
In response, West Virginia told Campbell that it had no plans to reinstate Huggins.
Written by Stephanie D. Vice President and General Counsellor of the University.
Campbell responded to Taylor in another letter Monday, saying that Huggins’ employment agreement required Huggins to send written notice of his resignation to the school’s athletic director and general counsel.
“Accordingly, based on the clear language of the employment agreement and clear West Virginia law, an email from Coach Huggins’ wife to Steve Urias, WVU’s deputy director of athletics, is not an effective notice of resignation under the employment agreement,” he wrote.
Taylor and West Virginia responded Monday night to Campbell’s second letter, reiterating the university’s position that Huggins did indeed resign and would not reinstate him as head coach, while calling Campbell and Huggins’ assertions “meritless” and “inconsistent with documented evidence.”
The university provided a schedule for the June 16-18 weekend, citing conversations and correspondence between the school and James Gianola, Huggins’ attorney. According to Taylor’s letter, Gianola informed West Virginia on the night of June 17 that Huggins intended to resign and retire, and then asked if the university would accept his resignation via an email sent by his wife. The school also says that Huggins specifically told his players on the night of June 17 that he was resigning.
Gianola also reviewed and approved Huggins’ announcement of resignation made by the university, according to Taylor. Huggins cleaned his office on Sunday, June 18th.
“In other words, to the extent you suggest that Mr. Huggins’ resignation did not strictly and technically comply with the provisions of the employment agreement, WVU has accepted his resignation unequivocally, and WVU has not required and does not require a different form of notice under the employment agreement,” Taylor wrote. “We have accepted his resignation in the form requested by counsel to Mr. Huggins. Nor is there any support in the law of these facts to suggest that Mr. Huggins might now ignore his resignation and his actions upon which all relied, and recant his voluntary separation and return to work as if none of this had ever happened.” “.
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