I’m still not entirely certain that I’ve seen any local coverage anywhere of the apparent fact that Bob Huggins was embarrassingly drunk at a coach’s clinic the other day. I’d ask “What gives?” in an indignant sort of way, except that I know “What gives?” doesn’t get the job done in this case. Instead, the point ought to be asking the local media why a story like this one is unworthy of its time and attention.
The answer? Because we don’t do that around here. We don’t tell the truth around here. We don’t investigate our own. We don’t report on things that might embarrass our heroes. Our loyalty to our local heroes is one of the reason that they’re so frequently allowed to get away with so much.
In Huggins case, it remains an open secret around Morgantown that the man has a serious drinking problem, one which he has made little effort to seriously address, save for having handlers who take his keys away from him whenever he’s drinking heavily. This isn’t something I’m creating out of whole cloth. He’s been spotted at various local establishments, hammered beyond all recognition. But because he hasn’t revisited the horrible DUI charge that he incurred at Cincinnati - the charge that eventually led him home to Morgantown - the assumption has apparently been that the issue isn’t worth addressing.
I’d disagree but it wouldn’t matter.
Still, you’d think that if the man’s mysterious falls didn’t get the local community’s attention, his appearing before children in an apparently compromised state might. How do you solve that? You make it go away, in this case by simply refusing to deal with the issue. It wouldn’t be the first time that the media around here has been complicit in covering up the misdeeds of a local legend. Local politicians get away with murder. Local personalities do too.
Still though, one wonders what one of these characters would have to do get the media to pay attention. If getting drunk before a coaching clinic (a clinic that involved huge names from the college ranks, including Indiania’s disgraced Bob Knight, Florida’s Billy Donovan, and North Carolina’s Roy Williams) in the middle of the afternoon isn’t enough of a warning sign, what would be? Actually getting arrested? Something worse?
Yet nothing. I’d accuse the local media of abandoning their responsibility, but that would wrong assume the local media ever understood its responsibility in the first place.
(Update:To be fair, here is something from Mike Casazza:
OK, if you were waiting for some sort of comment, here goes because this is the only one I’m going to pull to address The Matter: Believe me, I’m on it. What it is, or was, I don’t yet know. I have pretty solid information. I’ve talked to a number of people who were there and people who are invested. It is not being ignored. Not by me and not by the sort of people you’d hope were not ignoring it. And understand this isn’t new territory for WVU. Delicate topic that has to be handled carefully, as opposed to fluidly. Just as hard to prove guilt as it is to prove innocence.
I trust nobody more than Casazza, but what are we meant to take from that? The University is investigating quietly and out of the public eye? That doesn’t send the right message on this, because it reeks of coverup, not of a desire to show sunshine on the truth.)
Anybody got anything else?