Mar 7, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT
One day after South Carolina announced that head coach Frank Martin would be suspended for the team’s regular season finale at Mississippi State due to “inappropriate verbal communication” with a player, Martin met with the media to apologize for his actions and address the situation publicly. Full video of the press conference can be seen here.
“I can’t do anything other than apologize,” Martin said according to the Associated Press. “I’m sorry is a powerful two words and if you use it over and over again for the same reason it loses its meaning. I can’t force people to like me, but I’ve got to respect this university.”
Martin, in his second season at the school, has also apologized to freshman guard Duane Notice, the player on the receiving end of his profane words during a timeout in the Gamecocks’ 72-46 loss to No. 1 Florida on Tuesday. A fiery coach throughout his career, Martin acknowledged that this situation was different after receiving his punishment from athletic director Ray Tanner.
But this time, Martin said he was wrong and pledged to work on improving his language and demeanor during games. Things really hit home when 6-year-old son Christian asked why they weren’t heading to Mississippi State to watch basketball.
“I’m extremely disappointed in my ignorant reactions that have impacted my team in a negative way,” he said.
South Carolina is 11-19 on the season with a 4-13 record in SEC play. A team with seven newcomers, the Gamecocks have struggled due in part to the loss of two points guards. Bruce Ellington decided to forego his senior season in order to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft, and Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson broke his foot in mid-January.
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