Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

Huggins situation has K-State nervous

Wildcats’ first-year coach at top of list to fill West Virginia vacancy

April 5, 2007


The most nervous sports fans on the face of the earth are located in Manhattan.

The source of their anxiety? West Virginia University, alma mater of Kansas State's popular first-year basketball coach Bob Huggins, has a vacancy and has Huggins at the top of its wish list.

According to sources, Huggins, Kansas State president Jon Wefald and the school's athletic, Tim Weiser, met Wednesday night to discuss Huggins' situation.

"Nothing to report tonight," Kansas State assistant sports information director Tom Gilbert said. "Only one person knows, and he hasn't commented. Hopefully we''ll know something soon."

Nobody's nerves were calmed in Manhattan when a rally planned on the fly aimed at convincing Huggins to stay at K-State was canceled when Huggins sent word he would be unable to attend, according to publisher Tim Fitzgerald. A member of the Web site had organized the rally.

Huggins' inner-circle includes several West Virginia donors, which has contributed to the shaky feelings in Manhattan.

One possible outcome could be for Huggins' contract to be reworked. On the other hand, by leaving K-State for West Virginia, Huggins would be leaving behind a recruiting class ranked No. 1 by analysts.

Michael Beasley, ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Class of 2007 by and the MVP of the recent McDonald's All-American game played in Louisville, Ky., is at the center of that class. It's conceivable that if Huggins left, Kansas State could grant Beasley his release from the letter of intent he signed and Beasley then could follow Huggins to West Virginia, which just lost coach John Beilein to the University of Michigan.

Bill Walker, the freshman who helped Huggins to rejuvenate the Wildcats' program before suffereing a season-ending knee injury in his sixth game, would not have such an option. Since Walker played for K-State, transferring would mean he would have to sit out a year, not a serious option since it's widely believed that both Beasley and Walker plan to make themselves eligible for the NBA Draft after playing one season together at K-State.

A Huggins departure from Kansas State would be a huge jolt for the Wildcats and for the entire Big 12. After Walker's injury, many expected the Wildcats to fade away quietly. Instead, K-State overachieved, finishing the season 23-12 after an NIT appearance. K-State's hiring of Huggins and the emergence of Texas A&M;'s Billy Gillispie to join Texas Tech's Bob Knight, Bill Self of Kansas, and Rick Barnes of Texas gives the Big 12 five high-profile coaches. Losing one of them to the Big East would be a tough jolt for the conference.

If Huggins stayed at K-State instead of leaving for his alma mater, that would be a good sign he is in Manhattan for the long haul, which would be a great coup for the Big 12.


Jaminrawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Ouch. That would devastate the KSU program. I doubt Huggins would leave Walker out in the sticks though. His credibility would take a huge hit. Though, I bet those in Morgantown would love to see Beasley put on a Moutaineer jersey. KSU needs to feel lucky that Huggins has such a good class coming in or he would have been out the door on Tuesday.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 11 months ago

"contract in principal"--

One of those principals probably being that Beaslely comes along.

Kristen Murphy 10 years, 11 months ago

Sigh It will be a sad day if he leaves, but all K-State fans knew he wouldn't stick around for ever. It just sucks because of the recruiting class we have coming in is well, #1 and you know they will all jump ship. So yeah. Good times.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I really feel bad for the K-State fans who follow this program through thick and thin. This would really hurt. However, as a life long Jayhawk and a proud member of the KU alumni, I can say that I would be a bit relieved. I like the streak in Manhattan and it's fun to have the little brother to knock around a bit. Bad for the Big XII though. Especially if Rick Barnes bolts for Kentucky.

Kristen Murphy 10 years, 11 months ago

Man. He's pretty much gone. Jerk. HA! Oh well. It stinks because we had so much potential, and I must say, the recruiting class - gone. I can almost promise you those guys are jumping ship. As to say if Walker will jump ship to is only a matter of time till we find out.

This blows.

Joel Hood 10 years, 11 months ago

Can't say that I am a fan of some of the baggage that Huggins' reputation has, but if he leaves KSU it only hurts the Big 12, especially KU. KU needs tougher conference games with quality rivals. Playing 10 conference games against weak Big 12 north opponents hurts KU in too many ways.

Kristen Murphy 10 years, 11 months ago

Well Beasley will be gone for sure, but will Walker want to sit out ANOTHER year? He hardly played last season. So who knows.

I guess Frank Martin is the new K-State coach - He was Huggins Assistant. Great. Another no-name coach. Fanfreakintastic.

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