Commentary

Turning the tables on Barry Hinson

Updated: December 20, 2013, 10:04 AM ET
By Steve Wulf | ESPN.com

Now that the laughter has died down, now that Southern Illinois basketball coach Barry Hinson has been enshrined in the Postgame News Conference HOF, can we ask one more question of the coach?

Your athletic director, Mario Moccia, excused your rant by saying, "I know he's a good man, but he can have those Yosemite Sam bombastic outbursts." But how would you feel if Moccia had talked about you in a news conference the same way you talked about your players?

Something like this:

"He has been absolutely awful, that's about as PG-rated as I can say it. He's been awful. It's unbelievable how he's coached.

"Two for 10. How can you go two for 10? My wife -- my wife! -- could have won more than two games on the schedule I gave him because I know she could have beaten Chicago State.

"I'm struggling with this right now. What do I tell the mamas of the mama's boys he's recruited? That their kids are soft and have been enabled? That they need to be house-trained like puppy dogs? When the dog does something wrong, whack, whack, bad dog? Maybe I should tell him, bad coach, get on the treadmill.

"You know who we've beaten? Stetson, ranked 350 out of 351 in the RPI, and Missouri Rolla, which has no ranking. That's it. He must think losing a game is a tax credit.

"We've got Ball State on Saturday. They're 2-6. I hope we don't say Merry Christmas, here's a gift.

"There was a sniper in the gym. Didn't you see what Davante Drinkard tweeted? 'I can't believe the little man had the nerve to call us mama's boys. Smh. I guess this is where our team learns to point the fingers.'

"Davante shouldn't have said that. I've been telling my wife for years that size doesn't matter. It's all about heart and effort. But I am shaking my head. He says the players aren't listening to him, that they're uncoachable right now. Well, I gave him a five-year deal for nearly $1.5 million in 2012, and he's already feeling sorry for himself. He's gotta buck up and bow his neck.

"I'd hate for Barry to lose his job, but hey, this is big time. When people lose their jobs, they don't put their heads down. They go get another job."


Of course, Moccia would never disrespect Hinson like that. The AD is a well-regarded administrator and a former pro baseball player himself, and Hinson is a popular 52-year-old coach who came to SIU with stamps of approval from Bill Self and Roy Williams.

It's not like he's a puppy, or a college kid. You shouldn't bully people that way.

Steve Wulf

ESPN The Magazine senior writer

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