At least one West Virginia University donor has publicly stated that his gift-giving strategy has changed as a result of the school's reaction to the Bob Huggins homophobic slur controversy.
"It's painful as a longtime supporter of WVU to see this situation," Jonathan Adkins told WVSportsNow. "I'm directing my donations away from the Athletic Department toward other parts of the University.
"I've been in touch with WVU as a donor and a gay man. I'm disappointed in how they have handled this, but hope for the best."
On May 8, Huggins appeared on a Cincinnati radio show and more than once called fans of Xavier University "f--s" — including one reference uttered as "Catholic f--s." He apologized later that day.
Related: Huggins Apologizes, West Virginia Reacts to Coach's Radio Slur
Within days and amid calls for his firing, Huggins accepted a suspension and a $1 million pay cut.
Related: Bob Huggins Takes $1M Salary Cut Following On-Air Anti-Gay Slur
When Adkins was asked about his initial reaction to hearing Huggins, a Hall of Fame coach and fellow West Virginia native, use an anti-gay slur, the first words that came to his mind were “shocked, disappointed and hurt."
"It’s not as if the foundation of WVU basketball will all of a sudden collapse without the financial contributions of any one donor," wrote WVSportsNow's Mike Asti. "The Mountaineers brand is too big and there are too many wealthy alums all over the country willing to spend. Honestly, keeping Huggins around was likely done largely due to the nationally ranked incoming transfer class and in the best interest of the team on the court.
"But it’s also very possible Adkins is not alone in planing to reallocate where his money goes when donated to the school. Adkins shows words can have consequences, especially when those words come out of the mouth of someone tasked with representing a state and a passionate fan base."
As to whether Huggins can once again win over Adkins, who has cheered for the coach since his return to Morgantown in 2007, time will tell. “Yes, people can change and grow," he said. "I hope he speaks out about what happened, shows true remorse and this serves as an opportunity to educate others."