Students ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the hiring of Oliver to lead ETSU men’s basketball


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — ETSU students reacted to the hiring of Desmond Oliver as head coach of the men’s basketball team with cautious optimism.

The news of Oliver’s hiring came less than a week after the resignation of former head coach Jason Shay.

The ETSU Student Government Association has been active in addressing the controversy surrounding the men’s basketball team taking a knee during the national anthem. SGA Vice President Seth Manning said he thinks Oliver is a good choice for a variety of reasons.

“Coach Oliver…I think he’s an amazing coach..he’s a fantastic recruiter, which I think is something that can benefit him here at ETSU, so I’m excited about the new hire….I think [Athletic Director Scott Carter] did a great job identifying the right guy and getting him signed on quickly,” said Manning.

However, not all are excited about just how quickly Oliver was brought onboard. ETSU student Connor McClelland says he has questions about the process.

“There was also an incredibly fast turnover on a new hire, makes me think that there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered here about to what extent there was knowledge behind the scenes to what was gonna happen…to what pressures were involved,” McClelland said.

Both Manning and McClelland said the university needs to answer the questions surrounding Shay’s departure, specifically the separation agreement.

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