No decision has been made on Rakym Felder’s basketball future at South Carolina. At least not yet.
USC coach Frank Martin said Tuesday night on his weekly “Carolina Calls” radio show that he will have a meeting with Felder at some point in December to discuss what’s next for the indefinitely suspended point guard.
“I will sit down with Raykm face to face,” Martin told Gamecocks play-by-play announcer and show host Derek Scott. “He’s not in town. He’s with his family. Either he’s coming here or I’m going to him. I’m not sure when it’s going to be, but we’re going to sit down face to face and we’re going to figure out what the next step is. We haven’t gotten there yet.”
Felder was suspended in mid-August after a July 13 arrest that according to police reports started with the Brooklyn, N.Y., native spitting on a woman, which started a “large brawl.” The charges have since been dropped.
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This was Felder’s second suspension from the team. He also was arrested Oct. 23, 2016, after knocking one victim unconscious and assaulting a Columbia police officer after being tased, according to an incident report from the Columbia Police Department.
Felder is not currently enrolled at USC.
“Eventually it’ll come to a point where I’ll make a decision if I want to start coaching Rakym,” Martin said. “There’s a personal relationship and then there’s a coaching relationship. I get along with a lot of people that I’m not prepared to coach. I’m going to help him a lot. I got to make sure I can coach him.
“He made a mistake that went against what I asked him to do and put all of us – Ray Tanner, Dr. (Harris) Pastides, myself, himself, his family – in a bad place. That doesn’t make him a bad person. That just means he made a bad decision.
“He needs to learn, but the whole goal is for him to become a man and my job is to help him become a man because when you’re a man and you’re employed, if you make that mistake, they don’t pardon you. They tell you, ‘Go, get out. Don’t come back.’ I got to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”
Felder averaged 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game as a freshman last season, helping USC to the Final Four. He posted nine double-figure scoring games, including a 15-point performance in Carolina’s upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
“Rakym is very dear to me,” Martin said. “He’s a fine young man. I’m still not in a place where I’ve made a decision with what his situation is. And I’m not trying to rush into it, either. He’s not part of our team right now. He and I speak regularly, I’m going to continue to support him and help him as a human being. But I’m kind of busy trying to coach the guys on our team right now that didn’t make mistakes to help us become the best that we can be.”
The Gamecocks (5-1) face Temple (3-1) on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.