July 12, 2023

Bob Huggins Didn't Retire?: Former West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is doubling down on his claim that he never technically resigned from the school. WVU's lawyers insists that he did indeed retire.

posted by NoMich to basketball at 09:53 PM - 7 comments

Huggins needs a bit more money on the way out the door.

I don't know if this is even worth asking tahoe to take a break from following the Reds to review from a legal standpoint.

WVU president E. Gordon Gee certainly has a knack for attracting turmoil. He's either seen or made the waters churn at all of his many collegiate stops. And has been paid handsomely along the way.

Gee is in that exclusive "Why Do People Keep Hiring This Guy?" club, along with Bobby Petrino and a few others.

posted by beaverboard at 09:44 AM on July 13, 2023

Pat Fitzgerald's future hiring sez, "hold my beer"

posted by NoMich at 09:57 AM on July 13, 2023

Luckily, the Reds don't need following until tomorrow afternoon.

The whole thing is bizarre, and likely hinges upon the clause in the Employment Agreement saying "Any and all notices required or permitted to be given under this Agreement will be sufficient if furnished in writing and sent by registered or certified mail to the other party." Huggins' alleged resignation was via both telephone and email, with the university claiming that the email was the operative communication.

As a threshold matter, what a crappy piece of contract drafting. The university is correct that "sufficient" is not expressly synonymous with "necessary." Just because certified mail is sufficient does not mean that it is the exclusive manner of communicating resignation. However, if a client came to me asking how he should resign if he was working under this contract, I would advise him in no uncertain terms that he should send the correspondence via certified or registered mail.

But Huggins didn't, so was the email effective? If the university can prove that other communications material to Huggins' employment had been delivered via email, particularly any that benefitted Huggins, it would have a strong argument that it had the reasonable expectation that it could rely on that communication and Huggins is now estopped from denying that it was effective. If there were not previous emails (I guess Bob doesn't email and his attorney is the only attorney in America with no ability to find an operational email outlet in a 24-hour span), then the form of previous communication would be important. Did they make operative communications by phone? handwritten note? carrier pigeon? or the most likely form--cocktail napkin?

As far as it being unsigned, I don't think that really matters. His attorney was his attorney-in-fact, and had agreed on Huggins' behalf on multiple occasions. Even if Huggins had not instructed the attorney to resign for him, the attorney was the apparent agent of Huggins, and the university had the reasonable expectation that he was speaking on Huggins' behalf and could be relied upon to accurately represent Huggins' position.

In sum, I suspect the university wins this one unless something new comes out in the discovery process. Or Huggins badgers them into a settlement.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:44 PM on July 13, 2023

I think I know what's going on. When Huggins "retired," he did it all in emojis so I guess it doesn't count.

posted by NoMich at 09:27 AM on July 14, 2023

I think I know what's going on. When Huggins "retired," he did it all in emojis so I guess it doesn't count.

Different jurisdiction, but just this past week in Saskatchewan Canada ....

posted by tommybiden at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2023


posted by bender at 01:51 PM on July 14, 2023

tommy: I heard news bit about that this morning. There's a local(ish, Greensboro) morning radio show full of chuckleheads that's actually an OK morning show named The 2 Guys Named Chris Show and every Friday they have a segment with a local lawyer and go over strange/weird law cases. As they spoke about this bit, it occurred to me that Huggins probably sent in his resignation notice all in emojis.

posted by NoMich at 03:31 PM on July 14, 2023

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