University of South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin has been hit with a $25,000 fine and a reprimand from the SEC for comments aimed at an official on Saturday.
Martin, who drew a technical foul during his team’s game against Florida, was livid about what he perceived as a double standard regarding fouls.
“It’s the fact that we shot seven balls inside the paint and there’s never been a call made and I didn’t say a word,” Martin said following the 65-41 loss to Florida, per The State, “and then the first time Chris (Silva) tries to stay between the ball and the rim, they call a foul.”
He also blasted how the SEC manages officials in the process.
“I got a problem when our league office puts a guy on our game that got his break in the SEC and he turned his back on the SEC to go officiate the other leagues. Why are we hiring that official to officiate SEC games? That’s a problem…
“I’ve never, ever, ever spoken about officials because they got a hard job,” Martin said, “but for our league office to allow that to happen, that’s wrong. I’m sure someone’s going to call me and say, ‘Why did you say that?’ And I’m going to tell them, ‘It’s what I feel and I’ve told you this before and you know that I’ve told you this in private because it’s the way I feel. It’s not right.’”
Not surprisingly, someone did call him. Now he’s been levied with a fine, along with the following reprimand for violating SEC Bylaw 10.5.4, which prohibits coaches, players and support personnel from all public criticism of officials and from making public any specific communications with the Conference office related to officiating.
Here’s the SEC’s official statement on the matter.
“The Southeastern Conference membership has unanimously approved a bylaw prohibiting public criticism of officials,” said Greg Sankey, per The State. “Frank Martin’s public comments violated the SEC Bylaw 10.5.4, which results in this reprimand and fine. The SEC staff and the SEC’s Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating have worked diligently over the past two seasons to improve the overall quality of the Conference’s officiating program. Our coaches and administrators have been fully informed of our strategies for improvement, which include building relationships with other conferences to coordinate the assignment of officials outside of their primary assigning conference. We appreciate this collaboration among conferences and will continue to seek and support these officiating assignments and basketball officials.”
Should Martin have another violation, he could be subject to further discipline, including a suspension, per the report. His $25,000 fine will go to a fund that supports the SEC’s post-graduate scholarship program.