Martin Discusses "Sensitive Times"

The physical touching of senior Chris Merriewether by Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin was the topic for conversation during Monday's Big 12 Conference teleconference. Martin expressed his sorrow, adding that today we live in 'sensitive times.' AND ... K-State is making plans for ESPN's College GAMEDAY appearance on Jan. 30, prior to the playing of the Kansas Jayhawks that evening.

Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin continued to admit his sorrow for a "flicking" or "whacking" incident with Chris Merriewether during the closing minutes of the Wildcats' loss at Missouri on Saturday.

Those were the words Martin used to describe his physical touching of Merriewether during a KSU timeout after his senior committed a turnover that led to a Tiger basket in the Wildcats' six-point loss.

On the Big 12 Conference teleconference on Monday, Martin said he felt bad for what he did after the game, on the trip home and when he got up Monday morning.

"I was wrong, and what I did has no place in the game," Martin said. "I feel bad about it." Not using the recent physical and verbal incidents involving Kansas football coach Mark Mangino and Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach that led to their firing, Martin simply said that these are "sensitive times."

Times, he said of "… phoniness and having to politically act a certain way in front of the public eye that is different from reality, or behind closed doors." He added, "With all that said, what I did has no place in terms of basketball."

Martin said, "It is what it is. I have to learn to be more of a politician … act happy and smile on camera instead of being honest and showing what my emotions are."

The Wildcat coach went on to explain, "My players and I have a big-time relationship. It's been that way for the 26 years that I have been in coaching because I'm consistently honest with them. I don't change my personality just because there's a news camera in practice or a game.

"Kids appreciate, like I do, consistency, honesty and loyalty. That's what I stand for and what I've been about for 26 years in the business," Martin said.

"Unfortunately, coaching has become more of a politician job. You have to dress and act a certain way. Do anything other than those certain things, and you're considered to be out of line. Unfortunately, those are the times we live in."

Martin went on to say that his style doesn't affect the players "… unless it affects the people who are dealing with the players."

GAME DAY'S COMING TO BRAMLAGE:

Kansas State announced Monday some of the particulars of the ESPN College GameDay appearance on the Wildcat campus on Jan. 30, prior to the playing of the Kansas Jayhawks at 6 p.m. that evening.

The east parking lot of Bramlage Coliseum will open at 6 a.m., and the northeast and southeast entrances to the arena will open at 8 a.m. There will only be general admission seating. Parking and seating are free to the public.

Fans can bring posters, but they will be checked for appropriateness. Promotional giveaways will include rollbannas,

College GameDay t-shirts, plus one student will be chosen by ESPN and State Farm for a chance to win $17,500 cash by making a half-court shot. Two tickets will also be given away to the 6 p.m. clash between KU and KSU.

The program will air from 10 to 11 a.m. on ESPN. The show will include Rece Davis, Hubert Davis, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas.


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