Rick Pitino and Bob Huggins went toe-to-toe when the WVU basketball team and Louisville were members of the Big East Conference.
The Cardinals and Mountaineers had some nice runs together. Whether it was Big Monday or Super Tuesday on ESPN, or whether the game was in Kentucky or in Morgantown, a big crowd always showed up to watch these competitive games.
Well, it seems that Louisville, and several other programs, went a little bit too far to gain their own competitive edge. With the news of an investigation by the FBI rocking the college sports world this week, the WVU basketball team is lucky to have Huggins, as opposed to Pitino.
Pitino is noted as “Coach 2” in the FBI probe looking into the “pay to play” program, according to the Courier-Journal. The whole thing deals with passing along money to and from athletic gear companies to lure top-flight recruits to certain schools. Pitino is involved, but so it seems are other coaches like Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Arizona’s Sean Miller and Big 12 foe Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans.
These coaches are just a select few who are accused of accepted bribes from the posse and financial advisors of teenage basketball players. The news just goes along to confirm what many believe to be true in college sports. There are a lot of shifty characters and not-so-moral things happening each day in the world, and college sports is certainly not free of that.
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In fact, college sports may be a driving force in the social dilemmas that infect our society each day. The news that came out this week probably did not take anyone by surprise. In fact, most college sports fans may have been surprised that more schools and names weren’t reported.
One name that is rarely associated with turmoil is Bob Huggins. Aside from some of his bad decisions and low graduation rates at Cincinnati, Huggins has been about as clean as it gets at West Virginia. It could be because he has grown up and grown out of his old ways. Huggins was just like any other young hot shot coach who experienced success.
Now, Huggins is an older guy in a generation of younger coaches. He has seen things that today’s younger coaches may not see and he has adapted his style of coaching and way of life to something that suit him. Huggins does not try to be anybody but himself.
Huggins does not try to be flashy to impress anyone, not even a great basketball recruit. Huggins will be himself in every situation and his “take it or leave it” attitude is what works for him. His coaching resume and the wonderful facilities for the WVU basketball team speak for themselves and they are about all that is needed to impress a teenager, his parents and his “posse.”
When it comes to athletic gear, the Mountaineers are proud of their Nike tradition and the WVU basketball team has been at the cutting edge in new designs from the Jordan brand. The brand of WVU basketball remains sharp and will always be attractive to the nation’s top talent.
With Bob Huggins as the head coach for the foreseeable future, all of Mountaineer Nation knows that they are going to get the truth. WVU basketball fans are lucky to have a great leader like Bob Huggins.