Saturday, December 01, 2001

Chaney accepts Huggins' apology

Letter from UC to recruit angered Temple coach

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Temple coach John Chaney told the Enquirer on Friday that he has accepted an apology from UC coach Bob Huggins, that he no longer plans to send a letter regarding the Bearcats to the NCAA or the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and that he continues to have a great relationship with Huggins.

        Chaney was upset about a fax sent to the Philadelphia prep school of Keith Butler, a 6-foot-11 center who was recruited by both schools but signed with Temple.

        Chaney said the fax was negative recruiting. He showed it to Philadelphia media Wednesday, saying he would forward it to the NABC and NCAA with a cover letter. He said Friday that won't happen, but Conference USA assistant commissioner Brian Teter said the league will look into whether the letter violates C-USA's code of conduct.

        “I've gone as far as I'm going to go with it,” Chaney said. “Bobby called me (Thursday). We had a long discussion about it. He apologized for what took place. That ends it as far as I'm concerned. I'm not going any further with it. It was spoken to by the media in our area, but the documents are never going to be circulated. Please be kind to Bobby. He has my utmost respect, and I certainly didn't want to lose it.”

        Chaney said Friday he was still angry over UC backing out of two games at Temple. The Bearcats overscheduled last season and pulled out of their game against the Owls but promised to play in Philadelphia twice.

        When Temple sent UC athletic director Bob Goin a bill for $85,000 last summer, to cover expenses incurred after UC backed out of the game, Goin paid it and said the schools would not play again.

        Chaney said he expected a call from Huggins about that but never got one.

        “If you overbooked, wouldn't you say, "We promised Temple we were going to play them, so let's get rid of somebody else we overbooked with and go to Temple?'” Chaney said. “All of this was tied in to my frustration and my anger (Wednesday).

        “He explained the situation he was faced with in both situations. That's all I wanted. It's almost like if there was an accident and somebody hits you with a car, and you apologize for it, fine. What the hell are you going to say? It's an accident.”

        Chaney, 69, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, called Huggins “one of the great coaches in the country that I regard and have respect for” and said he counts Huggins among four or five guys “that I know their word is their bond.”

        Despite Goin's comment in July, Chaney still would welcome a Bearcats visit.

        “Of course, I have no problem with that,” Chaney said. “And Bobby knows that I would hope that someday — whether I'm living or not — that he would honor it and come here and play us two games in a row.”

        Huggins said Friday he had no comment.

        Columnist Tim Sullivan contributed to this report.


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