KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Bob Huggins isn't exactly going to raise the sartorial splendor of the Big 12's fraternity of coaches. When the group met Wednesday here at the Sprint Center for the league's annual basketball media day, he was the one without the suit and tie.
The only one.
Then again, perhaps Huggins has known something all along that most of the other coaches in the country did not. He's worn nothing but pullovers for the better part of his tenure at West Virginia and in doing so was perhaps simply preparing for an NCAA crackdown on coaches' decorum, which now specifically spells out one of the reasons a coach can be assessed a technical foul.
It's for angrily shedding a coat in protest of an official's call.
"See, I'm prepared,'' Huggins said. "Let me tell you, I got a technical for throwing my jacket when it wasn't in the rule book.''
At a media day fairly devoid of much real news - Kansas was announced as the preseason league favorite a week ago, the preseason all-league team was announced a week before that and Rick Pitino and Jim Boeheim weren't here to exchange barbs as they were at Wednesday's Big East media day in New York - discussions regarding the NCAA's stated crackdown on bad coaching behavior would have to suffice as the most interesting topic.
Huggins basically shrugged off the new rules, insisting that most officials will continue to officiate the way they always have. Some are more prone to react to provocation than others, and specifying what constitutes egregious behavior won't change that.
"We go through this periodically,'' Huggins said, recalling that roughly 20 years ago a group of school presidents were seated near the benches at a Final Four and didn't care for some of the things they heard, precipitating a crackdown on language. "Be honest. Do you think some of these guys are going to change the way they officiate? I can help you with that. They're not.''
Still, never before have so many specific acts been printed in black and white - it comes in the form of an appendix to the rules this year and will be placed in the rule book next season - regarding coaching decorum and what can be grounds for a technical foul.
Many are fairly standard and logical, such as questioning the integrity of an official or using "profane, vulgar, threatening or derogatory remarks'' directed at an official or an opponent.
But the new rules also prohibit "prolonged, negative responses to a call/no call ... [including] thrashing the arms in disgust, dramatizing contact by re-enacting the play, or running or jumping in disbelief over a call/non-call.''