Xavier president rips Bob Huggins for calling university’s fans ‘Catholic f–s’

Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz ripped West Virginia University men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins after he used a homophobic slur in reference to the school’s fans during a radio show appearance Monday morning. 

Huggins called Xavier fans “Catholic f–s” after claiming they threw “rubber penises” onto the court during the Crosstown Shootout, a rivalry game he used to be a part of while coaching the University of Cincinnati Bearcats

“I’ll tell you what, any school that can throw rubber penises on the floor and then say they didn’t do it, by God, they can get away with anything,” Huggins said on “The Bill Cunningham Show.”


Bob Huggins coaches during the Big 12 Tournament

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins watches play during a Big12 Tournament game against the Kansas Jayhawks March 9, 2023, at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.   (Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“It was the Crosstown Shootout. What it was was all those f–s, those Catholic f–s. They were envious they didn’t have one.”

Cunningham laughed and called Huggins “the best” after he made the comments. 

Hanycz spoke during a school event Wednesday and condemned Huggins’ comments in a prepared speech.


“At Xavier, we are steadfastly committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming campus where every member of this community is valued and respected,” Hanycz said. “This is at the very core of our mission and our identity as a Jesuit-Catholic university.

“The deplorable mischaracterizations and homophobic slurs directed towards our LGBTQ+ and our Catholic communities were repulsive and offensive. To those in our Xavier family who were directly targeted and harmed by these hateful words, be assured that you are invaluable members of our Xavier family and you belong here. Your presence makes us better.”

Huggins won’t be losing his job as West Virginia’s basketball coach. The university detailed his punishment in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying his language “unfairly and inappropriately hurt many people and has tarnished West Virginia University.

“It is also a moment that provides the opportunity for learning. A moment that can shine a light on the injustice and hate that often befall the members of our marginalized communities,” President E. Gordon Gee and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said in the statement. 

“While the university has never and will never condone the language used on Monday, we 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.” 

Bob Huggins in January 2022

West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins yells from the bench during the first half against the Baylor Bears at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W. Va., Jan. 18, 2022. (Ben Queen/USA Today Sports)

Huggins’ salary will be reduced by $1 million, and the money will go to the school’s LGBTQ+ center, the Carruth Center, and other state and national organizations supporting marginalized communities.

Huggins has also been suspended for the first three games of the 2023-24 season, and his multi-year deal has now gone to a year-to-year situation. Use of similar language could result in his immediate termination. 

“Over the past 48 hours, I have reflected on the awful words that I shared on a radio program earlier this week,” Huggins said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “I deeply regret my actions, the hurt they unfairly caused others and the negative attention my words have brought to West Virginia University. 


“I also regret the embarrassment and disappointment it has caused our athletics family, members of our campus community and the state of West Virginia. I am sorry for the hurt and distress I have caused our students and our student-athletes. I represent more than just our university and our basketball program, and it pains me to know that I have let so many people down.

Bon Huggins of West Virginia coaches against Kansas

West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins points out a call to his team in the first half of a Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal game against the Kansas Jayhawks March 10, 2022, at T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City, Mo.  (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I have no excuse for the language I used, and I take full responsibility. I will abide with the actions outlined by the university and athletics leadership to learn from this incident. I have had several conversations with colleagues and friends that I deeply respect and admire over the last 24 hours, and I am keenly aware of the pain that I have caused. I meant what I wrote on Monday — I will do better.


“I am looking forward to working with WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center and other state organizations to learn more about the issues facing the community. As a leader, I am eager to use my platform to take what I learn and share it with a broader audience.”

Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.

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