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WSU to honor Tyler Hilinski at Senior Night vs. Oregon State

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An excellent decision by Washington State athletics.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 Washington State at Arizona Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before what would have been Tyler Hilinski’s final home game as quarterback, the Washington State Cougars will honor their deceased teammate as part of senior day activities prior to kickoff against the Oregon State Beavers on November 23.

Hilinski’s Hope made the announcement via Facebook post.

Thank you Washington State University for remembering Tyler, he sure loved his Cougs and although November 23rd will be...

Posted by Hilinski's Hope on Monday, November 11, 2019

To say this is an excellent move is an understatement ... and it also was far from a slam dunk. Amidst all the talk of suicide prevention and mental health that came out of Hilinski’s death — which are good things, to be sure — the school had taken an official stance of not talking about Tyler by name in conjunction with any of these efforts, despite his presence being everywhere:

As a result, the Hilinskis and the school had distanced themselves from each other in the last year or so. Hopefully this can mend some of those hurt feelings.

For his part, Mike Leach said not doing it was never a consideration:

Plans for how it will happen are not clear, but it seems likely that Tyler’s name will be called out during the procession and his parents, Kym and Mark, will walk out on the field to be recognized. Here’s to hoping fans can make their way in from the tailgate early enough to give the Hilinskis the giant hug they deserve in the form of a rousing ovation.

And if I might make one more suggestion: At South Carolina, where Tyler’s brother Ryan Hilinski is the quarterback, their fans have adopted a new tradition to honor Tyler and raise awareness for mental health issues.

We should do this, too. Let’s build some momentum for it in the next two weeks.