FILE - South Carolina head coach Frank Martin sits courtside with members of the media during the Gamecocks' open practice at Madison Square Garden on March 23, 2017. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
When South Carolina head coach Frank Martin heard about the FBI investigation that netted 10 arrests on federal corruption charges, he wasn’t shocked.
What shocked him about the investigation was one name that was listed among those charged – former South Carolina assistant Lamont Evans.
“That broke my heart,” said Martin. “I’ve known Lamont since he was a high school kid. I gave him his break in this business, was around him as a non-recruiter, was around him as an assistant coach and I can’t tell you that those 48 hours after that news broke weren't good for me.”
Evans spent four seasons as an assistant under Martin at South Carolina. Evans was also a student assistant and a graduate manager at Kansas State during Martin’s tenure from 2008 to 2011. The former Drake guard was accused by the FBI of taking bribes from sports agent Christian Dawkins to influence players while coaching at USC.
Although the incidents in questions took place while Evans was on Martin’s staff at USC, Martin confirms that he nor his basketball program are under investigation.
“Unless there’s something that I don’t know, this university is not being investigated,” Martin said. “Lamont Evans is being investigated. Frank Martin is not being investigated. Lamont Evans is being investigated. Our basketball program is not being investigated. Lamont is being investigated.”
Martin told reporters that he’s been a part of staffs that have been investigated and the results have shown how honest those staffs have been. For Martin, that’s something that he takes pride in.
“That’s why I was surprised when I saw Lamont’s name because I do pay attention and I do engage in conversations with my staff on a regular basis,” Martin said. “Because doing things right is so important. I’m going to speak selfishly here. I have not worked so hard to overcome the odds to attain the job and the trust of the people that have employed me to circumvent it for a couple of dollars. I’d rather lose working the right way than win taking any kind of shortcut. That’s the way I’m cut.”
Martin said he hasn’t reached out to Evans or his family since the report surfaced, but he admitted that he was angry after finding out that his former assistant was involved in this scandal.
“It’s no different than when your family member does some stupid stuff,” Martin said. “I hope that maybe one day I get to sit in front of my father and just ask him why…but I’ve got to be ready for that day. I’m not ready for that day with Lamont right now and, because of the sensitivity of the case, I’m not going to engage in conversations. I’m sure I can speak to him from third parties and all this nonsense. I know him as a man. He knows me as a man. Our families know each other. When this passes, I’m sure he and I will sit down and figure out what happened.”