President Jon Wefald professed his profound disappointment.
This is a very sad day for me and Kansas State," he said. "We met with Coach Hugginss for a couple of hours last night. There was no issue we didn't discuss or put on the table. We moved heaven and earth to keep Bob Huggsins. Whatever West Virginia is offering, we would top it. There is nothing we wouldn't do to keep him here.
"He had only been here for one year," he continued. "The timing was not right. There's no way we would hire him if we knew he would be here for only one year. I told him, 'They are never going to love you at West Virginia like we do. You will never be more beloved at West Virginia if you are there for 100 years than you will be here. You have to do what you have to do, but you have created an aura around Kansas State basketball that we haven't had here for years and years.
"It wasn't like we were arguing or vindictive. We just over and over said this is the place for you. But the timing is just not right. Basically, I said this is not fair to the players, to the program the university or our fans. Staying is the only fair thing to do. You will have to ask him why he is going to West Virginia."
The disappointment was evident in Wefald's demeanor as well as that of athletic director Tim Weiser, who echoed many of Wefald's comments.
"We've all had opportunities to leave, but this was just not the right time," a clearly downcast and distraught Weiser said. "There is a sense of betrayal."
"This is like a heavyweight fight," Wefald said. "We are in the ring and doing well, and I feel like we got knocked out with a right cross. Not knocked down, knocked out. I am so disappointed for our program."
A press conference at West Virginia to introduce Huggins is likely to take place on Friday.