U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 13 mins

Bob Huggins gets Big 12 reprimand for meltdown at Kansas and comments on officials

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was reprimanded by the Big 12 for comments about officials after his team lost to Kansas. (AP)

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is probably wondering Thursday if the Big 12 punished the officials from his team’s game against Kansas last Saturday, too.

Punishment was announced for Huggins by the Big 12, which wasn’t surprising after his meltdown over officiating earned him an ejection. However, the punishment for Huggins’ comments about officiating after the game wasn’t that bad. Huggins, who was upset Kansas had an amazing 35-2 free-throw disparity in favor of the Jayhawks, got a reprimand from the conference.

“The Big 12 Conference announces a public reprimand of West Virginia University men’s basketball head coach Bob Huggins for comments regarding officiating following the conclusion of last Saturday’s WVU at Kansas men’s basketball game. His comments are in violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct rules.

“‘There are proper channels within the Conference structure to handle officiating concerns,’ said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. ‘Coach Huggins’ public comments are contrary to the Conference’s Sportsmanship standards.'” 

Huggins told reporters after the game, “Officials want to be a part of the game but they don’t want to be the part of the game that has to answer. Why aren’t they in here answering your questions?” He pointed out that he had never been in a game in his long career with a free-throw disparity like the one Saturday. While there were reasons for some disparity — West Virginia plays a physical defensive style and the Mountaineers attempted 26 3-pointers on 61 field-goal attempts — one team probably should never shoot 33 more free throws than the other.

There was no mention of a fine in the release, and Huggins is probably fortunate. Earlier this month for example, South Carolina coach Frank Martin was fined $25,000 for comments about an official. Maybe the reprimand, without a fine, is a bit of an admission from the Big 12 that Huggins had a point. And he got his money’s worth with his tirade at the officials.

Home teams getting more calls in college basketball is nothing new; it’s an accepted part of the sport. But Huggins will probably be OK with the reprimand in exchange for getting some things off his chest last Saturday.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!