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Huggins Gets Ultimatum: He Must Quit or Be Fired

Cincinnati president says 'Character counts,' and gives an ultimatum to the basketball coach, who will receive a large compensation package.

August 24, 2005|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Bob Huggins was ordered Tuesday to resign as Cincinnati's basketball coach or he'll be fired, the culmination of a power struggle with the school president.

In a letter faxed to his lawyer by the university, Huggins was given 24 hours to resign and accept a financial compensation package worth almost $3 million.

Huggins, 51, was traveling and had not seen the letter, lawyer Richard Katz said.

Athletic Director Bob Goin, one of Huggins' most loyal supporters over the years, said he backed the decision.

"It's time for the university to move on," Goin said. "We've reached an impasse."

Huggins has won more games than any other coach at Cincinnati, but his tenure also has been marked by player arrests, poor graduation rates and NCAA rule violations that landed the school on probation.

His arrest for drunk driving last year upset new school President Nancy Zimpher. Huggins was placed on unpaid leave over the summer but returned and coached last season, the Bearcats' last before moving from Conference USA into the Big East.

"Character counts," Zimpher said emphatically. "Our coaches must be exemplary role models on the court and off."

Huggins was 399-127 in 16 seasons at Cincinnati. His teams made 14 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament and reached the Final Four in 1992.

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