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Men's Basketball

Eric Hyman Press Conference Quotes

March 13, 2012

South Carolina Director of Athletics Eric Hyman

Let me make some general comments. Credibility comes with competitive success. Credibility comes with competitive success. I look back with Coach Horn, and there are a lot of tremendous accomplishments he's done at South Carolina. He's had his fingerprints on things we can be proud of. Our academic success has had a dramatic change. That is important to me. Our young people come here to get a degree. He was totally committed to that. I`m proud of what he's done. We've made great strides academically. He runs a program with character. That's extremely important. You have to have and develop character in young people, and I think Darrin did a wonderful job. Ethics and integrity are extremely important, and he ran a program of integrity. It's always sad when you deal in this business and deal with people. He has a wonderful family, great kids and terrific wife. You hate to see something like this happen, but Darrin did a lot of positive things at South Carolina.

We have three or four of our most visible sports competing at a (high) level ... We want our men's basketball program to do the same thing. We have to believe we can do it. We're making the investments in our facilities across the board from six years ago ... We really want to have a basketball program that fulfills the aspiration our board wants to be a top 25

Hope. You saw what I saw as far as basketball season was concerned. I didn't go to games with blinders on. I wanted our student-athletes to succeed at a high level. Unfortunately we didn't competitively. Credibility comes with competitive success. In college athletics success on the field and success in the classroom are not mutually exclusive, but you have to have a balance. Unfortunately we did no do that this year. Obviously our fans were sensitive to that. The enthusiasm, we didn't have the positive energy going forward. We didn't have the hope out there for the program. I understand that. I want to see our student-athletes and coaches succeed, but unfortunately in this business sometimes you have to take your program a different direction, and this is one of those days.

As I said, the evaluation would be at the end of the season. I really feel having been in the business a few years, you reach a time you need to turn the corner. I don't think we (turned the corner). Whether that's three years, four years, five years, I can't pinpoint how long it takes, but you get to a point where you have to show progress and turn that corner. It's just like women's basketball. We saw women's basketball when I first got there to what it is today; there's a huge amount of interest. Our fans deserve to put the product out there. Last night at the (women's basketball) selection show, this place was packed. We had 400, 500 people here. Our women's basketball program, our baseball program, our football program, all of our programs have really connected. Our fans are terrific. It's our responsibility to put a program out there that our fans can relate to.

The 2.4 million dollar buyout is a substantial number. I have to swallow when I think of 2.4 million, but in reality that's the arena we compete in. Whether you like it or you don't, that's the arena we compete in. if you go back six years ago when I got here, one of the focuses I tried to do was build up the reserve and protect ourselves somewhere down the road. ... This is why we built up the reserve account. If you're in this arena and a program isn't as productive as you want it to be, you have financial vulnerability. To protect against these things you need to build a reserve account to handle these things we're going through.

I sat down with the players. Life is full of experiences. The successful people learn from them. That's what I told our players. We have to learn from what has taken place. I asked them to develop a profile. What do we want as we go forward. I think it's important to get feedback from student-athletes. They're not going to pick a coach, nor are the parents going to pick a coach, but their feelings are important to me. I want their thoughts. We just did it this morning so I don't have the specifics to pass on to you.

Obviously we want someone that can recruit and has connections in this area. We want someone that can develop players to the extent they need to be developed in this league. As far as the search is performed, we'll do it as quickly as possible as long as it takes to get the right person here. Yes that's double-talk. I do understand the sense of urgency and we'll try to expedite as soon as possible.

The pay will be driven by the market place. I'm in a little bit better financial position than I was five years ago. I have more flexibility. It's taken time to get us in the position we're in. Integrity, work ethic and intelligence are the corner stones. I'm looking for a teammate. We're all in this together and we're trying to achieve. We have a great chemistry in the athletics department. That goes all the way from Steve Spurrier to Beverly Smith our softball coach, from Raymond Harrison in academics to the people that work on our grounds. We're going to honor everything for our assistant coaches. That's part of our responsibility. This is a very difficult time for people. We have to be sensitive to that. I'll sit down with our coaches, talk to them, help them out and make sure we honor everything. This is a business, but in this transitional period we will be supportive at the University of South Carolina.

On if there was a point during the year that the decision was made
I don't want to say there was a specific point. You just see with the momentum. As the year progressed, I saw the energy and enthusiasm begin to dissipate. It's a totality of it. I told Dr. Pastides Sunday that I recommend we take a different direction.

On the South Carolina men's basketball coach job
This job is a challenge. It's got huge potential. The positive thing is we have a history and tradition of success in the past. The person coming in, I don't think there's any question they'll have their challenges, but I reflect back at some of our other sports and they've had challenges they've been able to overcome.

On Darrin Horn's reaction to the decision
Darrin is class. He's top of the line. He handled it like a gentleman. He was disappointed. He was apologetic he couldn't get the program turned in the direction all Gamecocks wanted it to be.



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