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Jeff Eisenberg

West Virginia blames coach Bob Huggins' fall on medication

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Speculation about what led to West Virginia coach Bob Huggins' injuries had become so rampant the past few days that university brass apparently felt they could go no longer without addressing the issue.

As a result, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told the Charleston Daily Mail on Thursday that Huggins had taken medication on an empty stomach last week before breaking seven ribs falling into the coffee table in his Las Vegas hotel room.

"He said he kind of stood up quickly and apparently had a bit of lightheadedness and tripped - and I don't know if he tripped, per se - but he fell down and hit the edge of a table," said Luck, who has had frequent contact with Huggins since his coach was hurt one week ago in Las Vegas.

Luck couldn't say what type of medication Huggins had taken but said he had every reason to "completely accept and believe" what Huggins reported.

Given that a DUI arrest complete with wobbly field sobriety video helped end Huggins' tenure at Cincinnati, it's understandable that there would be speculation whether or not alcohol contributed to this latest incident. After all, the 10-year, $20 million contract Huggins signed with West Virginia two years ago stipulates he can be fired for substance abuse affecting his job performance, though school officials have said that's a standard clause in any coach's contract.

Huggins had to be hospitalized in Las Vegas for several days this week before he was released on Thursday. Last summer, Huggins got two black eyes when he walked into a door in the middle of the night and in 2008 he tripped on a cone on an airport tarmac while checking phone messages and fell and hit his head.

West Virginia president Jim Clements echoed Luck's comments, telling the Daily Mail that Huggins is "just a fellow who worked too hard or wasn't rested right and he fell. It happens to everybody."

Luck and Clements acknowledged that some have assumed Huggins' behavior may have contributed to his accident. Both said alcohol was not a factor, and neither was concerned with what others believe.

"Believe me, it's probably something Coach Huggins could care less about, as could I, in terms of what other people think," Luck said.

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