It didn’t always work. Alibis and apologies followed.
It had gotten to the point after 16 years where Huggins could no longer rely on the benefit of the doubt to bail him out with his bosses at the University of Cincinnati. You know, blame it on mistakes of youth of the kids he recruited.
On Wednesday, Huggins accepted the university's offer and resigned as head coach.
He has 399 victories, the most in school history, and Huggins is finished at the University of Cincinnati because the rebels that helped him win did him in. The school’s image in athletics is terrible and that’s not good as the school heads into the Big East Conference where the spotlight glares.
And you know what?
The ticket-buyers could care less about Huggins’ follies. They are ready to storm the Fifth Third Arena, withhold their money, and start rooting for Xavier because their hero has been canned.
They are not anxious to weigh both sides. They are on the side of Riverboat Bob and his energy ... and his 14 consecutive NCAA appearances.
Huggins might be headed to the Hall of Infamy before the Hall of Fame, but they could care less.
Recruits are pulling back their commitments and college basketball analysts are lining up behind Huggins. They are predicting gloom for UC hoops.
Maybe Riverboat Bob wasn’t such a bad guy after all comes the chorus.
Al Behrman / AP
Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher did not want the university's image tied to basketball coach Bob Huggins, and she should be applauded for that, writes columnist Ray Glier.
Just run through the timeline of Huggins’ tenure at Cincinnati and there is enough there for a five-year series for “Law & Order.” Yet the fans love blue-collar Bob.
Of course, this stuff plays out all over America. If you win, you skate. Phil Fulmer jumped off the hook at Tennessee, vigorously defended while his players were carted into jail. Larry Brown can renege on deals with NBA teams because he knows how to win. Terrell Owens still has crowds of autograph hounds, even as he messes with his team’s Super Bowl hopes.
Rafael Palmeiro got just as many cheers as boos when he came back to baseball after his steroid suspension. Next month, Barry Bonds will get a standing ovation when he returns to play for the Giants.
CBT: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made it official that he'll be coaching Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he'll also be with Duke at least that long, too.
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1978-80: Assistant coach at Ohio State.