Frank Martin addressed his suspension for the Gamecocks' match-up on Saturday with Mississippi State on Friday afternoon, brought about as the result of an altercation between the coach and Duane Notice during Tuesday night's 72-46 loss to Florida.
"You've heard me talk a lot about maturity this year, I think it's time that I start maturing, too."
Martin spoke for approximately 25 minutes. A transcript of most of his remarks follows below:
I reflect everyday on who I am and everything that I do because I'm concerned with fixing my problems because I can't help others if I can't fix my own problems. And I have challenges. I understand that we live in a world that we expect everyone to be perfect, but I'm nowhere near. I explain to my players that if you put all their faults together you still don't come close to the faults that I create every single day.
Extremely disappointed in my anger and actions that have impacted our team in a negative way. For 30 years, I've gotten on the bus and I've gotten off the bus and I've stood up and fought with my guys, and it's going to be hard tomorrow to know that they're going in there and I'm not going to be there for them.
And the last thing I want to mention... I understand the world we live in and the way things are spun, I fully fully support Ray Tanner's position on this. He acted like the great leader that he is in trying to resolve something that was embarrassing to our university. And I fully support it, he didn't act based on one situation. He and I have been in constant dialogue for the last 5-6 months on things that he wants to help me. Not for public reasons, but to help me, become a better coach. And I could not be more thankful that he's my boss.
On the last 24 hours: Real hard, but it's self-inflicted pain. What took place with Duane the other night isn't the first time that's happened. And I work at that every day. I go to bed at night and I try - I think, this is my self-evaluation... that my passion for people is my greatest asset. That passion also becomes a weakness at times. And I have to work at that every day, I have to work at that, and that's my challenge. And like I said, it's easy for me to sit down and criticize others actions [because] I understand how hard it is to work at your faults. I wasn't put on this planet to criticize others.
There's been some challenges this year, personally in my personal life, and in basketball, and I've got a big big problem is that I care too much, and I care about our players. I care about my past players. I care about our present players. If I was worried about image or my salary, that problem would be easy to fix. I worry about my players. I worry about them taking advantage every day of everything that's in front of them so they learn how to prepare for life. I live for moments like the one I had Tuesday, when Brenton Williams' dad, a young man that I did not recruit to come here, shook my hand and looked me dead in the eyes and said 'Thank you for helping my son become a man.'
If it happens again: We didn't go there. There's only one person in this room you can blame if it does happen again.
Impact of cursing: I think that's a question better answered by the players. I don't think it's ever impacted us in a negative way. For 30 years I've always had good players on my team. I think our team has taken on every challenge this year, and grown up. So I don't think my language has negatively impacted - and let's make sure we clear something up here, because I'm wrong, and I'm not trying to cover up for my fault. I created this. Nobody created this for me. I don't speak like that 24 hours a day. There might be 12 seconds of the day that something comes out that shouldn't. And I've got to work on those 12 seconds. I feel pretty good about who I am the other [part] of the day.
I have a duty to the people of this university who hired me to conduct myself in a certain way.
I invest all my energies in young men to try to help them become men. I live like I said for Brent Williams' dad to say 'thank you for helping my son to become a man.' I can do that without being overly aggressive for 12 seconds on a sideline during a game. I've got to be able to manage that dynamic of my personality a little better.
Talking to the team: I speak to our players about everything that takes place with me on a daily basis. I don't just speak to them just because that situation got in the public eye. There's numerous situations - things I do, decisions I make, words that I use - and I speak with them on a regular basis.
Go back during my 7 years, our team with me included has probably received less technical fouls than any team out there. I don't let my players swear. When they swear in my presence, I'm not happy. I asked them to mature, I need to mature, too.
To the fans: I can't do anything other than apologize. I'm sorry is a powerful two words, and if you use it over and over for the same reasons, it loses all its steam. I can't do anything but apologize. I've got to be who I am, everyone else has to be who they are. I can't force people to like me, but I have to respect this university. I can't force people to come to a game if they don't want to come, but I have a responsibility to act the right way for this university.
When he became aware this was an issue: It was an issue as soon as the game was over. I know what I do. I know what I say. I don't forget things. With me personally, as soon as the game ended, I was uncomfortable with that moment. I left recruiting on an early-morning flight the next day. I called Coach Tanner from the recruiting trip because of my private conversations with him, I called to apologize because I let him down in that moment of the game. That's when I became first aware that - I guess there's some video. I'm telling you, no one looks in the mirror more than me. I do that every day. I got faults, and I've got to fix them. But that's how that whole moment transpired. Coach and I spoke on the phone, obviously our conversation needed to be in person, so when I flew back yesterday morning that's when he and I met in detail about a lot of things.
How you explain yourself to your children: My last year at K-State, I stopped swearing because I got home and my little guy, who's in here somewhere, said 'you've been a bad boy,' and I said 'why,' and he said 'because you used a bad word.' When a child says something to you it's a lot more powerful than when an adult sends you an e-mail. This morning, when my little guy found out that he and I were not going to Mississippi and that his dad could not coach and he couldn't see the boys play, like he calls them, that was a real difficult moment for me.
I've been doing this for 30 years, not 30 days. Parents and players that have played for me, I'm not going to tell you I'm perfect... but I think if you polled, you'd find a very big majority have unbelievable respect for the commitment I've made to their children. I've got to work on those 12 seconds a day.
How to change: I had for two weeks planned to use Lent as my challenge to try to improve [on swearing]. It's got to change. I don't know what else I can tell you. It's got to change. I get out of bed everyday and that's important to me. Coaching at the University of South Carolina is important to me. Continuing to build my relationship with Ray Tanner - personally and professionally - that's important to me. I carry a flag, that maybe not too many people in this room understand, but there's not too many other Hispanics in this business I'm in. But I can't let them think that hey can do this the way I do it at times. I have to do my part and that's a big burden to carry. I'm not like 90% of the people in this business. I speak differently, I act differently, I come from a different background than most in this business. I have a responsibility to others like me to achieve.
I've got a responsibility to our players that if they choose to coach one day - I've got numerous former players that are in coaching right now. I take tremendous pride in knowing that the impact that we made in their lives made them choose to follow this career path to be able to help others. I've got to make them understand that to find success in this business, you can do it being who you are, but respecting the core values of the university that you work for, and those 12 seconds are definitely not part of it.
On Saturday: My daughter has a cheerleading competition in Tennessee. I don't get to go to too many of those. So I'm getting in a car today later with my family and I'm driving to Tennessee. I haven't made a decision yet if I'm going to go into that gym and watch her perform. I have to continue to reflect on my situation a little bit because when we take the court on Monday on practice, I have a responsibility to those kids and our university to have an opportunity to go play and win and not be dwelling on this moment that I've created. Regardless of whether I'm in that gym or in a hotel room it's going to be hard. I've got a lot of pride and the one thing that I've always done is I've always stood up and fought with my guys. Win or lose, I"ll always stand up and stick up for them. And not being able to do that, kind of leaving them on their own, it stings. Seeing my 6-year-old cry this morning hurt. And when my guys are out there doing what they have to do and I'm not there.
I've been exposed to success, so I've got to be doing something right. So it's going to be hard to not be there for my guys. This university trusted that I was the person to fix this program. And my duty is to fix it, not to create problems. Obviously I've created a problem, and there's only one person that can fix the problem, and that's me.