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Tons of hot takes flowed on Twitter when the suspension of Frank Martin was handed down for verbally abusing Duane Notice. And the situation will bubble to the surface again when the SEC Basketball Tournament starts this week in Atlanta and Martin returns to the bench. So you can pile our hot take on top, and it goes a little something like this:
I like Frank Martin and I’m glad he’s our coach. I supported the hire and I support Coach Martin going forward. I like his intensity. I like that he seems to care so much about the players and about building our men’s basketball program.
I also absolutely, wholeheartedly support Ray Tanner’s decision to suspend Coach Martin. Since the suspension was announced, there’s been a split of opinion on whether or not the suspension was the right thing to do. Count me among those who are baffled and befuddled by those who feel the administration should have ignored what he said, something that Martin has now admitted to be a major problem.
Those criticizing the suspension have thrown out various reasons for their position: that we knew what the intense Coach Martin was about when we hired him; that there are many “cussing” coaches like Martin in the college game; that the suspension of Martin exemplifies the “wussification of America”; that the coach-player relationship should not be monkeyed with by the administration; that the kind of things Martin said to Duane Notice are par for the course and those who “didn’t play the game” simply don’t understand.
Guys and girls, this is NOT about intensity. This NOT about cussing. This is NOT about toughness. Instead, this is about human dignity. No college coach under any circumstances should ever say what Frank Martin said to Duane Notice, in public or private. I’m wondering if those criticizing the decision actually know what Coach Martin said. Because if they did, I can’t imagine how they can argue that it was ok. Martin didn’t just say use some salty language in front of Notice. No, he called this 18-year old kid in front of him, playing in a basketball game, a “f***ing asshole”. Again, focus on the actual words here. If you think this is ok, and you have kids, then I feel for your kids.
Let me ask you: in what universe is it acceptable for a coach to talk to his 18-year old player like that? I’m certainly glad it’s not acceptable at my university. I applaud Tanner and the university for standing up for what is right. And it’s not like Martin wasn’t warned. In his post-suspension press conference Martin disclosed that he and Tanner had been talking about this for weeks, and that he understood that he had a problem. Heck, he had even publicly apologized to Brenton Williams for a verbal onslaught levied earlier this year. For folks to say all of this is ok, that we should sit back and watch a man make a jerk of himself and our university, is inexcusable and frankly embarrassing.
Some of the protesters have implied that this is an infringement on liberty – that we and Martin should have the liberty to say and do what we want. Well, liberty has its limits. One of those limits is calling a kid you are supposed to be coaching and molding a f***ing asshole.
I’m a long-time listener to South Carolina radio legend and TRC friend Phil Kornblut. While I agree with him most of the time, this time he got it wrong. Dead wrong. Kornblut said that Martin’s actions didn’t hurt anyone, and because of that we “holier than thou” types should just get a grip. After hearing the Martin presser I think it’s pretty clear that this has at least hurt Martin, his wife, and his mother. Martin himself acknowledged that it hurt the university.
And of course no one has even mentioned Duane Notice much in all of this. While I’m sure Duane is a tough kid, studies show that verbal abuse is still abuse. Has Martin been verbally abusing Notice and others for a while (and I’m not talking about cussing)? Who knows. I certainly hope not. But condoning such actions sends the message to the world that it’s ok to abuse and degrade those we are supposed to be coaching or raising. Is that really the message we want to send?
Coach Martin fell short (surprise, we all do). Kudos to him for admitting his mistake and promising to work on things. Kudos to Ray Tanner and USC for sending the correct message. To those of you who still think what Martin did was just fine, I would encourage you to do a little soul-searching. It’s ok to admit you were wrong. Martin did.
Quick reflections all things gamecockery from the last week:
Love the Sinner, But Hate the Sin: We all learned yesterday that Head BB Coach Frank Martin has earned himself a game off for some much-needed R&R. This outburst, which some folks seem to believe is a tad excessive, resulted in a forced vacation from the regular season finale. Gotta be honest here, folks: I don’t see this as a big deal. I’m a pretty good lip reader, and its clear to me that Frank is politely inquiring as follows: ”Hey, Duane, you mentioned the other day that you might need a lift to your podiatrist appointment tomorrow. You want to text me in the a.m. or something so I can plan the rest of my day? OK? Sounds good, buddy.”
The Ten Second Rule is Dead, and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself: Seriously never understood all the hoopla about this proposal. The game changes. That’s its only consistent feature. These hurry up offenses are obviously impacting the way the game is played, so shouldn’t the governing body at least consider a reasonable response? Rather than some artificial clock deadline, I’d suggest a simpler approach: just have the ref stand over the ball for a beat or two more and give both sides a chance to at least look like they are set. This is supposed to be a football game, not a see-who-can-punk-the-other-guy-best deal.
Yardcocks Continue to Roll: Your intrepid blogger usually tries to suspend excitement (even interest) in the baseball team until post-SEC tournament, at the earliest. But this year I find myself all swept up in the excitement. Of course, so did the Clemson Tigers, if you take my meaning, har-har-har.
Horsecocks Continue to Dominate: Ranked #1 in the nation for 13 straight weeks, and now set to face Auburn for the SEC championship. Oh and the equestrian ladies got several members of our football team to pose awkwardly on some very overwrought horses.
WBB is WOW: Direct all your clicks hither.
Shaw Me Your TVs: One last, fond, look at the greatest quarterback in Gamecock history:
Note how Connor is so poised and polished in front of the crowd. Really looks comfortable, ready for prime time, doesn’t he? Big change in demeanor from the nervous kid that first talked with local reporters back in 2010.
r/cfb/ Thread of the Week: This photo, posted by an Auburn fan (of all people). A postapocalyptic view of the WB? Or an epic view of downtown Detroit? We aren’t sure, and the composition is a tad off, but its a cool concept nonetheless.
The Upstate School continues to do such Upstate School Things. [Sigh] It’s so one-sided now, that the HBC no longer even says the word “Clemson” anymore, and we are going to follow suit. Well, from now on, anyway. We won’t say “Clemson” that is. Starting now.
Oh, and Spring Practice started, or didn’t, or at least kinda did, it was hard to tell.
TRC Unleashed welcomes a special guest to the podcast – USC head volleyball coach Scott Swanson. Coach Swanson walks through what it takes to recruit and become a top flight program in college volleyball. He brings tremendous insight to a program we might not follow closely, but should.
We also discuss:
- The best four-day stretch in USC sports history?
- What the weekend sweep of Clemson means
- The Gamecocks’ upset of Kentucky
- Harris Pastides is the coolest college president ever
- The powerhouse program Dawn Staley appears to be building
- Andy Demetra was once courted by an NBA team
All this plus we answer Twitter questions. It’s a fun but very disjointed show, so hang in there, you’ll be better for it!
Click here, or click the graphic to listen, and enjoy!
You guys think we’re funny? You think we’re here to amuse you? Here to make you laugh? Well not tonight my friends…
Well, ok, maybe a little, but in the latest episode of TRC Unleashed we also tackle the tough issues, like Michael Sam being on a path to become the NFL’s first openly gay player, the Confederate flag on the State House grounds, and global warming.
Of course, we also talk about the Gamecocks – football’s freshly minted recruiting class, the fifth-ranked women’s basketball team, and the super high expectations for the 2014 edition of the USC baseball team.
All that and more, just click here or click the graphic to listen, and enjoy!