On Monday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey publicly reprimanded and fined South Carolina coach Frank Martin $25,000 following his weekend comments.
Martin directed his comments at an individual official and was overall critical of the officiating management. Martin’s comments were made following the Gamecocks’ 65-41 loss to Florida on Saturday. SEC bylaw 10.5.4 prohibits coaches and players from publicly criticizing officials.
Commissioner Sankey released a statement about the fine:
“The Southeastern Conference membership has unanimously approved a bylaw prohibiting public criticism of officials,” said Sankey. “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.”
Here are Martin’s original comments from Saturday:
“Eleven years as head coach, I think today was my sixth technical foul in 11 years,” Martin said. “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.
“We got our tails kicked. Officiating had nothing to do with us getting beat today. Was Chris the only guy that pushes? No one ever pushes him? He leads the country in free throw attempts, but no one pushes him? But he’s the guy that pushes everybody? No one ever fouls him when he shoots around the basket?
“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.’”
When SEC fines are levied, they are put into a fund that supports the conference’s post-graduate scholarship program.