Reaction to the reports here and on other USC media websites that USC has made a decision on its new basketball coach and the signs point towards Frank Martin of Kansas State has been widespread across the country. Our report included information that an anouncement could come early next week.
The most notable follow up comes from long time basketball writer Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. He wrote Friday night that USC has asked permission to speak with Martin according to a “source close to the process.” Typically, a school seeking a coach does not ask permission from another school to speak to its coach until after a deal is in place for that coach to be hired.
For his part, Martin sent text messages to Andy Katz of ESPN and Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports saying he was at the play “Jersey Boys” in New York City with his family and that he had not talked to anyone. Martin will be in New York this week as an analyst for CBS and its tournament coverage.
However, GamecockCentral reported Friday afternoon that, according to a source at Kansas State, Martin met with USC athletic director Eric Hyman for about two hours Monday at a Columbia hotel.
Martin makes 1.55 million per season in a contract that runs thru 2015 at Kansas State where he’s gone to four NCAA Tournaments in five seasons. The current buyout is one million dollars. According to the Wichita Eagles, Martin is scheduled to begin negotiations on a new contract with Kansas State athletic director John Currie April 1st.
But it’s been widely reported that Martin and Currie have a fractured relationship (see Mike McGee vs Eddie Fogler). That relationship was not helped by Currie’s decision to hold out senior Jamar Samuels from last week’s NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse after learning of a $200 payment to Samuels from his AAU coach. Martin reportedly was very upset with the decision to hold Samuels out of the game, one which the Wildcats lost.
Martin is 117-54 in his college head coaching career, all in five seasons at Kansas State. He has been to three straight NCAA Tournaments reaching the Elite Eight three seasons ago.
Below are some YouTube highlights for those wanting to get a better idea of what type of personality and style Martin has: