Frank Martin fined $25,000 for comments about officials


On Monday afternoon, the SEC announced it was fining South Carolina men's basketball head coach Frank Martin $25,000 for his comments about an SEC official after his team's loss to Florida on Saturday.

Martin was issued a technical foul in the first half of Saturday's game by official Lee Cassell. On Saturday, Martin even suggested a fine could be coming for what he said regarding Cassell's place in the SEC.

"I got a problem when our league office puts a guy on our game (Cassell) that got his break in the SEC and he turned his back on the SEC to go officiate other leagues," Martin said on Saturday.

He also said, however, that the officiating is not the reason the team lost to Florida.

"We got our tails kicked," Martin said. "Officiating had nothing to do with us getting beat today."

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement on the fine against Martin saying: "The Southeastern Conference membership has unanimously approved a bylaw prohibiting public criticism of officials. 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.”

South Carolina plays Tennessee on the road on Tuesday night at 9 pm ET.

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