In an exclsuive interview with The Spurs Up Show, I chatted with Gamecocks quarterback Ryan Hilinski to discuss life after the coronavirus pandemic.
With virtually all sports associations being shut down for the safety of their players, faculty and fans, there is a huge lack of entertainment for sports fans to watch.
Of course, you can watch some 1980’s March Madness game you’ve never seen but that can only last so long.
With no clear information on when the coronavirus will be clear up, a question of NFL and NCAA football have been called into question for when their seasons may play, if they can play in the foreseeable future.
Recent rumors suggest that one of two options are in the air as of right now: either college football is postponed until the pandemic is over or college football might have to play their season over the summer (when the coronavirus is expected to decrease as an issue).
When asked about how he would feel about a postponed season, Ryan Hilinski stated “Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, obviously. I mean, I’m just waiting, waiting to see what happens, staying ready though, in case it comes back sooner rather than later. Once we start getting back to, it’s going to go fast.”
The NBA is considering continuing their season and going into the playoffs without the presence of fans. With other organizations considering this idea, I decided to ask Hilinski what he thinks about an empty Williams Brice.
“College football would absolutely not be the same without fans. Like our fans are everything man, they make Will-B rock. It’d be kinda different playing without those guys there, but if it’s something that gets us back to ball, I’d absolutely do it. But it’d be different for sure.”
The Gamecocks athletics programs are unlike other programs, they are close.
Hilinski is obviously friends with quite a few of the other Gamecock athletes, senior Maik Kotsar being one of many.
With winter athletics being cancelled right before the post-season, how does Hilinski feel the NCAA should respond with eligibility in question?
“I think they deserve to play for a championship. I think, you know, if getting another year in is possible, then I think they should be able to do it. If you take that memory away, a lot of people aren’t going to get that second chance. I think if it’s in the question that they could possibly get it, I absolutely think they should be able to come back and compete for a championship like they were going to do this year.”
The women’s basketball team was ranked number one in the nation and had a fairly large chance of bringing another National Championship banner to Columbia.
The men’s basketball team were going into the SEC tournament with a tough loss to Vanderbilt with the chance to make an impact in the post-season.
Hilinski really wanted to see if the men’s team could make a run at it in the post-season.
“We know Coach Martin, he knows what he’s doing so. I feel like he would be able to pull something out and make something happen for us for sure.”
Organizations across the nation are contributing to the coronavirus aide.
Hilinski’s Hope has some ideas in mind to help with the coronavirus epidemic in their own way.
“We were doing letters, made some meals, put some stuff together if they needed it. My parents started this thing called ‘United Podcast’, what it is is they’re getting together a bunch of mental health experts from various schools across different conferences and they’re going to talk about mental health problems that people could be going through this time: depression, weight loss, weight gain, sleep. That are putting people out of their norms. The podcast is powered by Hilinski’s Hope, then we’re going to try to do a couple more things that are still in the works.”
Hiilnski has been keeping in contact with other athletes affected by the cancellation of their seasons.
Athletes across all sports are having trouble adjusting to not being able to do something that they love but must appreciate the precautions taken for their safety.
I asked Hilinski how his fellow athletes are adjusting:
“I talked to a couple of softball players, a couple of baseball players, a couple of swimmers and I’ve talked to my own teammates, of course. They’re shocked but I think all of them have a pretty good head, and they understand what’s important; that their families are safe and healthy, that they’re safe and healthy, life could be a lot worst. But they have a lot outside of their own sport that they have to life for and they’re happy doing that and whenever the time comes for them to come back, they’ll be ready.”