Category Archives: This-and-That

Kenny McKinley on Inside the Roost Tonight

Tune into “Inside the Roost” tonight on 107.5 FM at 7 p.m. as host Derek Scott and Athletics Director Eric Hyman discuss issues related to Gamecock Athletics from Staybridges Suites on Huger Street in Columbia.

Tonight’s show features former Gamecock wide receiver Kenny McKinley.  Football assistant coach Shane Beamer will also be on the show later to discuss the incoming 2010 class of Gamecocks.

You can listen live on

If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask on the show, send an e-mail to, call locally at 404-6100 or 1-866-667-1075. You can also submit your question in the comments section of this post and we’ll get it over.


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A Week in the life of Eric Hyman

In the recent feature story on athletics director Eric Hyman, he said “People think an athletic director just schedules the games and goes out and watches the games.”  I thought people would be interested to see what exactly a full week is like in the life of Eric Hyman so I took a peek at his schedule from last week. For a few of the items, I’ve got a quote from Hyman about the appointment.


4:55 am – Leave for Spinning class

Hyman – “If I’m not there by 5:10, then I won’t have a bike.” Hyman usually rides with Stan Juk, a former Gamecock football player.

7 am – Breakfast at the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center

Hyman – “I was the first one there. I’ve been looking forward to the completion of this building for a long time. It was exciting to see our student-athletes enter the Dodie for the first time and sit down for breakfast.”

10 am  – Weekly Meeting with Deputy AD Marcy Girton & Emily White

11 am – Communications Working Group meeting

-Weekly meeting to discuss communication strategy for the department with a team of staff

Lunch with former assistant coach

3 pm – Meeting with a women’s tennis recruit

Hyman – “As the Athletics Director, I’m willing to make myself available to coaches in the recruiting process.  I am able to communicate the vision for the program and help prospective Gamecocks understand the expectations of building a nationally prominent program at the University of South Carolina

4 pm – Met with Joe Person of the State for a story about the future of facilities and fundraising. Marcy Girton and Senior Associate AD Kevin O’Connell also attended the meeting.

4:30 pm – Met Bob Gillespie of The State for feature story on the Dodie

7 pm – Inside the Roost radio show

-Guest: former South Carolina head men’s basketball coach Eddie Fogler

Hyman: “I believe this radio show is another tool we can use to communicate to the Gamecock Nation about the program.  When I got to South Carolina, many fans told me that they wanted to hear more about the department, especially the areas and programs that don’t receive much coverage.  I hope this radio show helps meet that need.”


4:55 am – Leave for Spinning class

7 am – Arrives at the Roundhouse

-Responds to e-mails and returns phone calls until first scheduled appointment

10 am – Meeting with Associate AD Charles Waddell to discuss football scheduling

10:50 – Noon – Visited a donor with Director of Revenue Development Jeff Crane

Lunch with Art Baker

-Baker was a football coach at Furman when Hyman was with the Paladins as well as the former director of the Gamecock Club

2 pm – Coach evaluation

Hyman – “At the end of each season, I like to sit down with each head coach and review what went well and what needs improvement. This helps us stay focused on improving for the future of the program.”

3 pm – Met with a student-athlete

4 pm – Met with former Gamecock football player Terry Cousin along with Charles Waddell

6:45 pm – Student-athlete etiquette dinner

Hyman – “We want to prepare our student-athletes for a future after college and teaching them proper etiquette will pay off for them in a key social situation such as a job interview.”

9 pm – Men’s basketball game vs. Kentucky

Hyman – “I had trouble sleeping that night after all the energy and excitement of the game. I just kept replaying it over and over in my head. It was one of the most exciting moments I’ve experienced since I’ve been here. The student support and enthusiasm made such a tremendous difference.”


7 am – Arrives at the Roundhouse

Hyman – “We received a lot of positive feedback from people after the Clemson win, but what was surprising to me is that we actually received more after the win over Kentucky. There was so much energy and excitement in the athletics department that morning.”

9 am – 12:30 pm – Management Team meeting

Travel to Charleston with Assistant AD for Major Gifts Russell James to meet with three different donors until attending a dinner at 7 pm. Returned to Columbia around 10 pm.

Hyman – “It takes many people to build a successful athletics program. Our donors are one of those key components.  I enjoy travelling the state and sharing the vision for our future.”


8 am – Arrives at the Roundhouse

9 am to 10:30 am – President’s Executive Council

10:30 am – Meeting on campus

11:30 am – Lunch with two donors in Hyman’s office

2 pm – Telephone call with reporter from Lexington, Kentucky

3 pm – Exit interview with Gamecock football senior Nathan Pepper

Hyman – “I meet with several senior student-athletes as they finish their time at South Carolina to discuss their experience as a student-athlete. Making those experiences worthwhile is important to the future success of our program.”

4 pm – Met with a South Carolina student who attended same high school as Hyman. Student was given an old basketball program with Hyman’s name and photo in it and the student gave it to Hyman

7 pm – Women’s basketball game vs. Ole Miss


8 am – Arrives at the Roundhouse

Morning scheduled to catch up on e-mails and phone calls

1:30 pm – Appointment out of the office

3 pm – Media tour of the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center


2 pm – Speak to junior football recruits

3 pm – Listened to a sport psychiatrist speak to the men’s and women’s golf team

5 pm – Speak to men’s and women’s golf junior recruits at the Dodie

6 pm – Car Dealers reception at Colonial Life Arena

7 pm – Men’s basketball game vs. Georgia


2 pm – Women’s basketball game vs. Tennessee

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Dedication of the Dodie

Click here for a photo gallery from Wednesday’s dedication ceremony

Student athletes, coaches, and members of the Gamecock Club gathered for the dedication ceremony for The Dodie Academic Enrichment Center today. Dodie Anderson, the donor whose generosity made the building possible with a $6 million donation, was also in attendance with her family. The center is the first building in what will become the Athletics Village and will facilitate the academic needs of student athletes.

Athletics Director Eric Hyman started the event by thanking everyone who made The Dodie possible including donors and those in charge of construction and design. University President Dr. Harris Pastides reflected on the outstanding year the university has had so far in the areas of both athletics and academics. Pastides said that The Dodie “will bring together academics and athletics very literally.” The building offers student athletes large study areas, a dining facility, tutor rooms, and computer labs. Several rooms in the building will bear the names of donors who contributed to the project.  Pastides said that the facility will serve as “a great recruiting tool.” Football head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that the Dodie was one of the many reasons Gamecock signee Marcus Lattimore chose South Carolina.

Women’s soccer All-American and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Blakely Mattern represented the student athletes at the dedication. She was extremely excited about the new building and expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped with the project, especially Dodie Anderson. Mattern said that the building would lend to an even greater student athlete community, something she has cherished during her time as a Gamecock. “I would stay [at South Carolina] forever if they would let me,” said Mattern.

Men’s basketball head coach Darrin Horn said that he knows Dodie Anderson loves to win. “She loves those ‘W’s,’” he said.  When Anderson stood to speak, she was welcomed with a standing ovation. She quickly confirmed Horn’s statement by stating that she would “love to see more 34-17’s and 68-62’s.” She spoke of her hopes for the athletic community, and ended her speech with a vibrant “Go Cocks!”

The dedication came to a close with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hyman and Pastides stood with Anderson as she cut the garnet ribbon. In the eyes of the Gamecock community, the Dodie is a big step for the athletic department and a huge win for the university.

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See the interior of The Dodie

Check out this photo gallery of the interior of the new Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center. The building will be dedicated tomorrow afternoon.

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Feature Story on The Dodie

The State newspaper ran an in-depth feature story by Bob Gillespie on the new Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center. Click here to read “‘Dodie’ new heart of USC athletics.” The building will be dedicated in a ceremony on Wednesday.

For Hyman, that view is symbolic of the future of USC athletics. One can see three of the school’s four most familiar athletics structures – and if The Dodie were taller than three stories, Harrison might catch a glimpse of basketball’s Colonial Life Arena, too – but none of those, Hyman said, will be any more crucial than the new building.

“This is the heart of the athletics department,” said Hyman, who loves to use the term “beehive” to describe the traffic among athletes he expects in the 40,000-square-foot structure. “Academics and athletics at some places are separate, but they’re not mutually exclusive. It’s so important that we give young people the tools to be successful academically.”

Click here to read an article on the primary benefactor for the facility – Dodie Anderson.

A lifelong supporter of community causes in the Upstate, Anderson is an ardent USC fan who shares seats at football games with daughter Randi Berry. When approached several years ago by Hyman about a donation, her first question was, “What does (football coach) Steve (Spurrier) want?”

The Dodie is the result. “I was at the (2008) groundbreaking and had my picture made with the (SEC-champion) girls soccer team,” she said. “That was fun. I just love the Gamecocks.”

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Dodie Academic Enrichment Center Tour

Here’s a some notes from the media tour of the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center today:

  • Members of the athletics department traveled to a number of school with academic centers and asked them the question – “If you could build it all over again, what would you change?” One of the most common responses was that the department out-grew the building too quickly. As a result, the Dodie was designed to accommodate a variety of needs and uses and was built to be flexible.
  • The architecture of the building is designed to connect athletics with academics. Looking to the south of the the Dodie, get a great view of Williams-Brice Stadium. Looking to the north, you can see the main campus of the university. In addition, graphics throughout the building show the bond between the university and the athletics department. The photo below from the second floor of the building is a mural of the Thomas Cooper Library.
  • Another interesting design feature by the building’s architects (JHS Architecture) was the idea of expressing athleticism and movement through the overall design in the interior of the building. The design is intended to reflect the dynamic movement of athletes.

  • The first floor lobby of the Dodie features an Academic Hall of Fame which shows the academic accomplishments of South Carolina student-athletes. Team and individual awards, Academic All-Americans and SEC awards can be seen in this area. Two touchscreens provide viewers the opportunity to interact with the Hall of Fame and find profiles on student award winners as well as watch videos about academic accomplishments. Director of Academic Services Raymond Harrison said student-athletes can see their peers in the Hall of Fame and it can help them strive for academic excellence.
  • A check-in desk is located on each floor and students must scan in with their ID card when entering and departing the building. This helps the academic staff track which students are using the Dodie, where they are going in the building as well as how the building is being used. Information such as this helps them plan better to meet the needs of student-athletes.
  • The entire building features wireless internet – students can check out a laptop computer and go to study areas throughout the building to work on assignments.

  • Also located in the Dodie is a cafeteria for student-athletes. As part of the training table, student-athletes can come eat breakfast and dinner in the academic center. The cafeteria was also designed to use for multiple purposes. Drop-down projectors and adjustable walls allow the room to be used for presentations, study halls and many other needs.
  • A variety of staff members are housed in the the Dodie – sports psychologist, sports nutritionist, academic advisors and learning specialists. “It’s a one-stop shop for our student-athletes,” said Harrison. “They have every resource they need to be successful academically and socially.”

The building will be dedicated this Wednesday. Visit next week for coverage of the dedication, as well as more photos and video of this new facility at South Carolina.

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Eric Hyman Feature Story in The State newspaper

South Carolina Athletics Director Eric Hyman was featured in Sunday’s issue of The State as part of a series profiling 12 individuals who are changing the state of South Carolina. You can read the article titled, “USC AD has whipped department into shape” by clicking here.

As the athletics director at Virginia Military Institute, Hyman established a list of components for a successful athletics department. The list – upgraded over the years – hangs in the senior management meeting room next to the Roundhouse on the USC campus.

The seven components include guidelines for integrity, student-athlete management, winning and losing, academics, marketing, teammates and producing contributors to society. When then-President Andrew Sorensen interviewed him for the athletics director job, Hyman presented the components and asked whether USC could operate within those parameters.

Hyman uses the components when conducting exit interviews with student-athletes and as a guideline for prospective coaches.

Baughman says no athletic director in the country does more thorough research than Hyman when making hires. O’Connell, an associate athletics director who has followed Hyman from Miami of Ohio to TCU to USC, says his boss hires values rather than teaching values.

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