SEC fines USC's Frank Martin over criticism of official in Florida game


COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has hit South Carolina head men's basketball coach Frank Martin with a $25,000 fine over the USC coach's criticism of officials during a recent game.

Martin reportedly made his comments against the officials after the Gamecocks dropped a game against Florida on Feb. 10.

"I think I've earned my stripes on how I handle things. Eleven years as a head coach, I think today was my sixth technical foul in 11 years. 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 other leagues," Martin said post-game, according to TheBigSpur. "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. Is Chris Silva the only guy that is pushing, no one ever pushes him? He leads the country in free throw attempts, and no one pushes him? But yet he's the one that pushes everybody? No one ever fouls him when he shoots around the basket? ... I've never, ever, ever spoken about officials because they have a hard job, but our league office to allow that to happen? That's wrong. And I'm sure someone is going to call me and say, 'Why did you say that?' And I'm going to tell them because it's how I feel and I've told you this before and you know that I've told you this in private it's how I feel. It's not right."

Sankey delivered the fine two days later.

"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."

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.