Daily Egyptian

We stand behind Hinson

By Kayli Plotner

Editor’s note:

After Coach Barry Hinson’s post-game press conference went viral early Wednesday, we as members of the SIU student body, felt the need to express our support for Coach Hinson and his dedication and passion for Saluki basketball. 

Sarah Gardner | Managing Editor

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The “rant” was actually a lot milder than I was expecting it to be with all of the hype and national attention. To someone that doesn’t often hear Barry Hinson speak, this sounds like an incredible rant. To someone that has been listening to his press conferences for a year, it’s just Barry.

It’s no secret that he likes to throw in some crazy analogies and get pretty into his press conferences. He throws one-liners into just about any public statement or speech. This post-game conference is not much different than others from this year or even last year. They just haven’t gone viral.

So the cat’s out of the bag. SIU has a basketball coach that isn’t afraid to tell us what he really thinks of his team. Isn’t that what post-game press conferences are for? Who wants to listen to a coach that has nothing more to say than “we gave it our best, but it wasn’t enough.”

As far as the wife jokes are concerned, perhaps he crossed a line. But once again, he’s been making those jokes on the regular, and until now no one has had anything to say about it.

Coach Hinson is either the master of PR, or the worst, depending on how you look at it. He doesn’t sugar coat anything, but he also isn’t afraid to call out his players.

Is it the coach’s job to protect them from “bad press”? I suppose it is better for him to say it than to let someone else say it. Statistics don’t lie. Anyone watching the game or keeping up with the stats could have said the same things-but perhaps not as colorfully as Hinson.

Why this particular speech went viral I guess I don’t know.  What I do know is that if we were playing better, Hinson would not be saying these things. The players, even Marcus Fillyaw, know that Hinson cares about them, and realize all he wants is the best for his team.

Sarah Schneider | Photo Editor

The only thing Coach Hinson needed to apologize for, he already did.

Hinson said in numerous interviews Wednesday that he shouldn’t have called out a specific player. He is not one to do that and it was a response to a direct question about the player. Other than that, the interview was just Barry being Barry. He is blunt when he needs to be and enthusiastic because he cares.

Coach Hinson is exactly what SIU needed when it comes to bringing the fan base back to where it used to be. Students and fans love Hinson not only because of interviews like this, but because of his passion.

Hinson was handed a lot when he took over the program. The team had a low APR after several players transferred. The atmosphere at SIU Arena was weak to say the least. Barry has used the past year and a half to try and turn that around.

If anything, Hinson’s rant let fans know that he has more than just a low APR and attendance numbers to deal with. Hinson said his team was un-coachable. Not often are coaches so blunt, but Barry always has been. He’s frustrated and has every right to be.

Karsten Burgstahler | Pulse Editor

Obviously I don’t know what goes on at practice, and I don’t know where the players’ hearts are at, but if they really are rolling their eyes at him and lowering their heads then I’m 100% on Barry’s side. For those who have nice scholarships, my tuition pays that and it’d be nice to have a team without a 2-8 record.

Every student wants to be able to be proud of their athletic program, and my several hundred dollar athletic fee is paying for athletes that may not be respecting their coach.

And for those who don’t benefit from those full rides, they have to remember they’re playing on a national level here, it’s not just high school basketball. They represent a program that creates profits for a university. It’s all a big business, and just as they’re playing without regard for standards in public, Hinson has every right to talk about it in public. He’s just being brutally honest.

Seth Richardson | Campus Editor

I stand by Hinson 100%. I’m indifferent to the matter. It’s his team, and he can coach his team the way he sees fit within the rules. He called a spade a spade, that’s all this was.

Tyler Dixon | Sports Editor

Several times during Hinson’s press conference today, it looked as if he was holding back tears. That should show anyone how much this team means to him. No, they may not be coachable and/or tough, but Hinson cares.

Walking into SIU Arena today, our assumption was we would only get to hear Hinson’s side of the story. We found out Marcus Fillyaw would answer questions before Hinson.

I expected Fillyaw to be flustered. It’s his first year of Division I basketball and he was being thrown to the wolves after being wounded the night before. However, Fillyaw was poised and direct. Fillyaw said Hinson signed on to coach at SIU just as the players signed to play there and both parties need to work together to make a difference.

The days leading up to Saturday’s game against Ball State could go one of two ways for the Salukis.

It could continue to be constant media coverage with some asking for Hinson’s head on a platter. Players could be unfocused and not willing to work which means Saturday’s homecoming won’t be a homecoming at all.

It could also go the other way.

This could, and should be the wake-up call that the players needed. Hinson said he has called his team soft for weeks now and maybe this attention will help them recognize they need to work harder.

People around SIU and Carbondale would say Hinson is a wildcard. It’s never obvious what is going to come out of his mouth. One question that Saturday’s game will answer is how the Carbondale community will respond. Many students have gone home for winter break, but locals are still a big number of each game’s attendance. The community could have the same two options to respond as the players. They could back Hinson or they could resent him.

Only time will tell how players and Saluki nation will respond to constant attention SIU has received the past 24 hours.

Saturday’s game won’t only be the first home game since the press conference incident, but it could be the first game for the new Salukis. A new attitude and a new mindset could turn this team around.

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