Univ. of South Carolina calls Hilinski’s Hope headline ‘Unacceptable’

Officials at the University of South Carolina responded to an unfortunate headline published by the State newspaper on Sunday.

“Hilinski Hope Sinks” was the headline for the State’s article about the Gamecocks’ loss, despite efforts by quarterback Ryan Hilinski. He is the brother of Tyler Hilinski, a Washington State University quarterback who died by suicide in 2018.

After Tyler’s passing, his family created “Hilinski’s Hope,” a non-profit organization dedicated to destigmatizing mental illness and providing resources for those who are suffering.

On Sunday, University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen, Athletics Director Ray Turner and Head Football Coach Will Muschamp issued the following statement:

“Hilinski’s Hope means so much to the Hilinski family, their friends, Gamecock Nation, college football fans across the country and those who have been affected by someone suffering from mental illness. We were appalled to see this morning’s headline in The State newspaper that seemed cavalier about the seriousness of the mental health issue. It demonstrated a level of unprofessional and irresponsible journalism, and we find it unacceptable that the major daily newspaper in the hometown of our University would use such a headline in their game story. We don’t believe their apology is enough. We urge The State to be a leader in advocating and destigmatizing mental illness by making a very public effort to help fund and provide educational awareness to this very real problem.”

On Monday, the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation posted the following message to Twitter.

“In difficult times we look to this quote, we HOPE it helps you too. ‘Tragedy should be used as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful our experience is, if we lose our hope that is the real disaster.'”

The State issued an apology for the headline, stating there was “no excuse” for the wording. The paper reached out to both the university and the Hilinski family to express its regrets.

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