This guy is an embarrassment to the program and university. The other major coaches at SC are not this way - Tanner (AD) Holbrook (baseball) and Staley (women's BB) are complete class-acts. Spurrier has his quips, but I don't think anyone objectively thinks he's not sportsmanlike. Martin, on the other hand, is exactly what you said - Bobby Knight without the punches. Embarrassing.
The tirade in question came during the Gamecocks’ 75-74 road loss to Ole Miss on Saturday. Senior Brenton Williams drew the coach’s ire early in the contest. He then went on to nearly lead Carolina to the victory, knocking down three straight free throws to bring the Cocks to within a point.
Said Martin yesterday:
“I got after (Williams) pretty darned good on the sideline in the first half, and I visited with him about it and apologized to him. And I do want to apologize to any fans that were behind the bench that maybe heard what was said. I was wrong for that, and there’s no excuse for it…
I got wrapped up in the moment trying to get our program to take a step forward. We all look on mistakes all the time, and I’m no different than everyone else, and I’m nowhere near being perfect. There’s no place for me or any other coach to speak to Brent, or any other athlete, the way I did that moment there.”
Tirades are nothing new for Martin. The coach is perhaps better known for his scowl, coarse language and his animated behavior. A quick YouTube search of Martin’s name calls up a list of Martin rants, including this one from last February following a Carolina loss to LSU:
Martin ripped his team by saying such things as: “If this was the NBA, we’d fine them, we’d take their money, we’d release them and say, ‘Good luck with ever finding another job.’ I shouldn’t coach ever again if this is how my team plays.”
After that geyser of insults, Martin told the press: “If you know anything about me, for 28 years I have never thrown my players under the bus… I fight for my guys. I don’t kick them.”
Wonder if Williams or anyone sitting behind USC’s bench at Oxford would agree with that last statement?
This is just Martin’s makeup. He’s yeller and a blamer. He’s Bobby Knight minus the chair throws and fists to chins. He got away with that at Kansas State because he won basketball games. That part of his personality was ignored by the Carolina brass who hired him because he won basketball games. But if he wants to continue to behave like that at South Carolina — and is there anyone who thinks he’ll suddenly turn into Prince Charming? — he’ll eventually need to turn the Gamecock program around.
Win and you can be as big a jerk to your players as you like. Lose and that stuff starts to get old.