Huggins resigns as Coach of Wildcats

Who knew that snow on an April day could be an omen for bad things to come here in Manhattan? Many Kansas State fans are beginning to call it "Black Thursday." Some, maybe more appropriately, are calling it "Blackout Thursday."

Whatever the case, the Wildcat faithful were left with a bad taste in their collective mouths as Bob Huggins resigned Thursday as coach of the men's basketball team to take the same position with his alma mater, West Virginia.

"Obviously, this is a very disappointing and sad day for us," athletic director Tim Weiser said. "We learned that, despite our best efforts to convince him otherwise, he ultimately made the decision to go."

Some of those efforts included, according to Weiser, offering to match and exceed any offer made by West Virginia to him and all of his assistants. They also offered to rename the school after Huggins.

Weiser said they discussed how Huggins had said how this was supposed to be the start of something great, and his departure would be going back on that promise, along with other promises made by Huggins during the year.

"Everything has a time and a place, and this wasn't the right time," Weiser said. "It may have been the right place, but a year into this…it was by no means time to say we finished the job.

"Based on the success we had this year, a lot of good things were ahead of us, but with his departure, we have to regroup and begin again."

Weiser said he and President Jon Wefald sat down with Huggins late Wednesday night for approximately three hours to discuss this decision.

After the meeting, Weiser said he felt better than "50-50" that Huggins was going to stay. Thursday afternoon, however, Huggins informed the two of his decision to resign.

"I felt like he was conflicted in many ways, and when "I asked him, 'Bob, do you think leaving now is the right thing to do?' And he said, 'No,' Then I said, 'How many times in your life have you known what the right thing is to do and not done it?' And he said, 'Never,'" were Weiser's comments.

After he informed the K-State officials, he went to Manhattan Municipal Airport and got on a plane that was reportedly headed to West Virginia.

"We moved heaven and Earth to keep Bob Huggins here," Wefald said. "There is nothing we wouldn't do to keep Bob Huggins here. As I said to him, ‘You've been here for one year, the timing is not right, one year is not enough.' Bramlage Coliseum saw its first season-ticket sellout since the doors opened in 1987, and fans sported purple T-shirts reading, "Welcome to Huggieville" -- a play on Huggins' name and the Aggieville bar district near campus. Those shirts now read, ‘Welcome to Traitorville," with the "Huggie" part crossed out.

After the press conference, fans were waiting outside with bags over their heads and signs that read "Welcome to Coachlessville," "What about Walker" and "This is the support you asked for coach," to name a few.

There were also fans around Manhattan seen in their front yards burning t-shirts that were affiliated with Huggins. Huggins is leaving behind the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, headlined by McDonald's All-American Michael Beasley. The class also includes Jacob Pullen, Dominique Sutton, Fred Brown and Bill Walker. If any of the recruits decide to transfer from K-State, Weiser said he would not grant their release, therefore they would have to sit out the mandated one year before being eligible to play Division-I basketball. Chris Chaney, the boy's basketball coach at Suttons' The Patterson School, said he thinks Sutton will still play for K-State. "As of right now Dominique is still planning on attending Kansas State," Chaney said. "Obviously we are going to monitor the situation and wait and see who the next coach is going to be." None of the other boys' coaches were available for comment.

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