It almost feels like I’m spitting into the wind here, but I’m going to try anyways: Whoa, Kansas State fans. Just pump the brakes a little here before all control is lost. It’s not that what you’ve said/tweeted/texted/emailed in regards to John Currie lacks merit. Some points are valid; especially about it needing to be a two-way street between an athletics director and his coach.
But, it’s about this point in many of the conversations I’ve seen where venom and hate and want for blood and emotion overwhelm things, leaving rational thought to perish. And, I’m saying whoa.
You’re upset, already. I get that. On the surface, you’re losing what has become a regular winner of a basketball coach. In the right settings, he was a perfect ambassador – charming and charismatic. He has also developed his own brand – one that, perhaps, has changed the man from who you might have known five years ago when he became your head coach, or just two seasons ago when he signed on for his huge raise, and cried.
Rob Cassidy, over at gopowercat.com, penned it perfectly in his explanation of Martin’s ability to hold, chamber and then fire back with his grudges. Rob illustrated his relationship with Martin. He may as well have used my name instead because its the same exact story. That said, our personal experiences aren’t important. However, what’s noteworthy is that Martin’s grudge style wears on people. I know it’s worn on people he has worked with both in Manhattan and out on the recruiting trails. I have no doubt it wore out Currie.
It happens, and it is why, when asked by a Columbia radio station what they could expect from Frank Martin, I told them they would absolutely love Martin before his introductory press conference was over. I said he would likely be every bit the home run hire they thought they had. For the first couple of years. After that, it’s anyone’s guess how things would turn out because from what I’ve been told, South Carolina AD Eric Hyman has historically run his department much like John Currie runs his. Invariably, guys and girls in the media are going to ask questions Martin won’t like. He’ll develop his grudges again. We’ll likely see him leave Columbia someday.
This all from the guy who will also, I’m willing to bet, will continue to preach loyalty all along the way. Loyalty isn’t submission. It’s a lesson Martin could stand to learn.
And, in his wake, Martin leaves John Currie, who has already felt the first wave of wrath from people, who, frankly, don’t know what they’re asking if they thought giving Martin more power or space to operate was a good idea. After his comments on CBS over the weekend about paying former players while they were in college and he was a high school coach, giving the guy more latitude to work seemed like the exact wrong idea at this point, even if he did want to stay.
Regardless, donors threatened removing dollars. Other fans just want Currie fired.
Say both of those things were to happen. What master are you serving at that point, K-State fans? I can’t imagine cutting funds and showing that attitude would be beneficial in convincing the home-run hire you demand to become the coach.
Even so, the onus is now on Currie to win this opportunity that he helped create. Where most ADs would be given the chance to make one bad hire and perhaps try it again, Curry now probably doesn’t have that luxury.
Update on Will Spradling’s transfer situation: I tweeted earlier on Monday that Frank Martin’s leaving for South Carolina had a direct impact on Spradling’s wish to leave K-State. I wrote last Friday that the long-time thought was that Spradling would leave should Martin stay, or would remain in Manhattan if Martin left. And, at that point, for whatever reason, that had apparently changed.
A couple of things:
1) My information was correct. Period. I stand by my story as it was reported, and for those who have so politely or impolitely demanded a retraction… nope, sorry. Ain’t happenin’. I’m not in the business of flying unsubstantiated rumors around, and if you’ve followed my work long enough, you know this. What I reported was true, and that’s where I’ll leave last Friday.
2) Because of the new Martin situation that developed starting Monday morning, I’ve been told Spradling has indeed made the decision to remain at K-State, and that’s where it is. Personally, it would have been interesting to see Martin drag out his decision longer and then stay in Manhattan, just to see how it affected this transfer piece because I believe it would have changed again. But, as things stand, Will is a K-State Wildcat.