GAMECOCK COACH: “I CAN MANAGE THIS”
University of South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin apologized for embarrassing his employer, his current and former players, his family and himself when he cursed at one of his players during a game against top-ranked Florida earlier this week.
“There have been some challenges this year, in my personal life – and in basketball,” Martin said.
The second-year coach – who is struggling to rebuild the Gamecock basketball program – launched into a profanity-laced tirade at freshman guard Duane Notice during USC’s second-half collapse against the Gators on Tuesday night.
“I care too much,” Martin explained.
“I can manage this,” he said when asked whether or not he needed to seek help for his anger issues.
Martin said he fully supported the decision by USC athletics director Ray Tanner to suspend him for one game as a result of his tirade against Notice. He also said he understood there might be more severe consequences in the event he has another outburst.
This is the second time this year Martin has had to apologize for his behavior. In January, he apologized after cursing at Gamecock guard Brenton Williams.
“There’s only one person in this room you can blame if it does happen again,” Martin said.
Martin said he swore off using profanity during his final season at Kansas State – but slipped back into the habit at South Carolina. Frankly, that’s understandable given how poorly his teams have performed during his first two years in Columbia.
In fact, things have been so bad for Martin this season many wondered whether his press conference might be a resignation announcement.
Martin led Kansas State to a 117-54 mark over five seasons – including four NCAA tournament appearances. His 2009-10 team won 29 games and reached the Elite Eight, making him one of the hottest college coaches in America.
South Carolina hasn’t won a game in the Big Dance since 1973 – and hasn’t even appeared in the tournament in nearly a decade.
We still think Martin has the potential to turn things around, but he’s clearly on the hot seat now – and his personal issues sure aren’t helping with those who have grown impatient with the Gamecocks’ lack of progress on the hardwood.