It’s not exactly as it seems, but yes, Kansas State head coach Frank Martin did pay his former players. Martin coached high school ball for 16 years in the same Miami inner city that he grew up in, and said this weekend during CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament that he regularly gave money to his former prep players once they moved on to college.
According to an ESPN.com story, Martin was attempting to defend his senior Jamar Samuels, who reportedly accepted $200 from Curtis Malone, the founder of the DC Assault AAU organization, and didn’t play in the Wildcats’ season-ending loss to Syracuse:
“I coached 16 years in the same inner city in Miami that I grew up in. Do you know how much money I sent to kids that played for me in high school when they were in college because I knew where they came from?” Martin said in the story, according to a transcript of the broadcast published by the Kansas City Star. “I knew they didn’t have a father figure.”
Martin argued that because Malone and Samuels had a prior relationship from when the player was in high school, it wasn’t the same as an agent giving him money. Samuels needed some help, and so he went to a man he looked at as a father figure, a coach who knew him before the NCAA even cared who he was.
Martin wouldn’t name the former players that he routinely gave money to, but again argued it was for the simple things in life that they couldn’t enjoy: washing clothes, the movies, going out to eat.
He added, according to the ESPN.com story: “”It’s not like they can work while they’re in college. They can’t find ways to make money. When there is no money at home, who is going to help these guys?”
This isn’t the only news circulating around Martin. There were reports this morning from a source close to the coach that Martin plans to leave Kansas State for South Carolina, and will be formerly introduced tomorrow. His agent, Richard Katz, would only confirm the two parties have had conversations.
Do you agree with what Martin did?
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