West Virginia Slump Basketball (copy)

WVU coach Bob Huggins was publicly reprimanded by the Big 12 for his comments on the officiating following Saturday’s loss to Kansas.

The Big 12 conference issued a public reprimand of WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins Thursday for his comments on the officiating after Saturday’s loss at Kansas.

“There are proper channels within the Conference structure to handle officiating concerns,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “Coach Huggins’ public comments are contrary to the Conference’s Sportsmanship standards.”

Saturday’s game featured a wide disparity in the number of free throws attempted. Kansas shot 35 free throws to West Virginia’s two in the Mountaineers’ 77-69 loss.

Huggins was ejected for arguing with officials in the final minute of the game and was not quiet about the free-throw disparity after the game.

“Officials want to be a part of the game, but they don’t want to be the part of the game that has to answer,” Huggins said following the game. “Why aren’t they in here answering your questions? We’re going to bring 19-21-year-old kids in here that don’t get paid and you’re going to ask them questions.”

Reached Monday by the Gazette-Mail and asked if WVU had contacted the Big 12 about the Kansas game, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said he has had several conversations with the conference on a number of topics, but did not elaborate.

“As you know, there is a sportsmanship code of conduct, which we will follow, when it comes to criticizing officials publicly,” Lyons said. “That’s all I have to say at this time.”

When asked for comment on the reprimand Thursday, Huggins said, “I’m not going to say anything from now on.”

WVU hosts Iowa State at 6 p.m. Saturday.