Mailbox: Gordon Gee lets Bob Huggins survive at West Virginia after use of homophobic slur

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch

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West Virginia reduced Bob Huggins' pay for the 2023-24 season by $1 million, and he will be suspended for the first three games of the season and undergo sensitivity training.

On Bob Huggins

Dear Mr. White: West Virginia didn’t exactly throw the book at coach “Huggie,” though one can only speculate how UWV will survive without him during its murderous opening trio of games versus Missouri State, Monmouth and Jacksonville State. I’m sure I’m not the first to point out that UWV president Gordon Gee was himself ousted from his perch at Ohio State for, in part, offering some “observations” about Catholics. My guess is Gee played only a minimal role in devising this low-level-misdemeanor wrist slap for the lovable Huggie, whose mid-afternoon DUI arrest video from his Cincinnati days remains must viewing for NCAA buckets fans. Rather, this ‘punishment’ has the monied boosters’ fingerprints, DNA and cell phone records all over it.

Jon Armstrong, Columbus

To Jon: I am among those surprised that Huggins survived this incident, as his words and the delight he took in using them made it clear how he feels. No misunderstandings there. As for the punishment, his resulting $1 million pay cut lowers his salary to a nice $3.2 million a year. As for Gee, he said in a statement that the university "will use this moment to educate how the casual use of inflammatory language and implicit bias affect our culture, our community and our health and well-being.”

Mar 28, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; McDonald's All American West guard Bronny James (6) dribbles the ball during the first half against the McDonald's All American East at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

On Ohio State basketball

To the editor: Buckeye basketball coach Chris Holtmann has a leaky coaching boat and the chum is in the water and the sharks are circling after his failure to land Bronny James. Ohio State was a natural landing spot for Bronny, as Columbus beats USC as a mecca for his collegiate career. The only reason Bronny didn’t come here was the losing image of our soon-to-be-dismissed coach unless next season is a spectacular success. Anything short of the same will give AD Gene Smith no choice but to fire Holtmann.

Michael Oser, Columbus

Michigan Panthers wide receiver Joe Walker (8) receives a punt during the second half of a USFL football game against the Houston Gamblers Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

On pro football in Columbus

To Brian: A reader wrote advocating for Columbus to have a team in a spring football league. There have been two leagues playing this spring in front of empty seats at neutral sites with players no one has ever heard of, but maybe he is the one who is watching these games. Without the energy of a large, enthusiastic crowd, it just isn't compelling.  

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Brian: What you said is true of the 1939 and 1940 Columbus Bullies. But in 1941, they went by the Columbus Bulls. Now the NBA's Chicago Bulls could be called Bullies, and they are not. The University of Buffalo Bulls could be called Bullies, and they are not. Even the USFL's Jacksonville Bulls could be called Bullies, and they were not, either.

If the team is presented as the Columbus Bulls, then I think people would call them as such, except a few may affectionately call them the Bullies. We have to quit this political correctness if that is not the intent. It is a male cow, and I am sure most people would call them as such.

I believe it is the perfect name for Columbus as the Bulls.

Brad Holland

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It's tough to watch a great player like Joey Votto struggling at the end

Reader doubles down on opinion that all Ohio State coaches should be paid the same

Did SEC favoritism help LSU in hoops the way it helped Georgia top Ohio State?

Readers sound off on Ohio State football coaches' salaries

Readers don't like timing of 'obscene' raises for Ohio State football coaches

Praise for The Dispatch's Adam Jardy; and does March Madness have correct format?

Here's hoping Ohio State football's new quarterback runs more than CJ Stroud did

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