Frank Martin: 'I Need to Mature'

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina men's basketball coach spoke for the first time since his suspension was announced, apologizing to his players and his family for his actions.

Martin addressed reporters Friday afternoon at a news conference.

South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner suspended Martin Thursday for "inappropriate verbal communication" to his players.

"I'm extremely disappointed in my ignorant actions," Martin said.

While Martin said Tanner didn't suspend him for one particular incident, he did acknowledge that an exchange between himself and guard Duane Notice may have been a tipping point.

The encounter took place in the team's game against Florida Tuesday. Video from the game shows Martin shouting in Notice's face for several seconds. It appeared Martin used profane language as he yelled at the player.

Martin said he knew he'd done something wrong as soon as the game was over.

"I know what I do, I know what I say," Martin said.

The next day, Martin left for a recruiting trip, but called Tanner to apologize and say he let him down. Tanner announced his decision to suspend Martin for the team's final regular-season game against Mississippi State Thursday afternoon.

Martin said the last 24 hours have been difficult. "My mom hasn't stopped crying since the decision was made," he said.

Martin said he embarrassed his wife, his players, and the university with his actions.

The second-year coach at the school, who's known for his fiery demeanor, said he understands that he can't use profanities with players, and says he doesn't tolerate that kind of language from them. When he left his last job at Kansas State, he promised not to curse anymore, but said he's fallen away from that promise.

Martin said his passion for the game becomes a weakness at times, but he says the incidents where he yells are just a snapshot that doesn't represent who he is, and he needs to make adjustments.

"It's gotta change," he said. "I don't know what else I can tell you. I ask them [the players] to mature, I need to mature too."


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