Frank Martin was issued his first technical foul of the season Saturday. It came with 6:08 remaining in the first half with South Carolina trailing by 11 points.
No, the Gamecocks coach didn’t draw the tech to light some fire under his team. Martin was trying to prove a point.
“It’s the fact that we shot seven balls inside the paint and there’s never been a call made and I didn’t say a word,” Martin said following the 65-41 loss to Florida, “and then the first time Chris (Silva) tries to stay between the ball and the rim, they call a foul.”
Lee Cassell was the official who T’d up Martin. According to The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), Cassell became a “regular” on ACC games last season.
Never miss a local story.
“Eleven years as head coach, I think today was my sixth technical foul in 11 years,” Martin said. “I got a problem when our league office puts a guy on our game that got his break in the SEC and he turned his back on the SEC to go officiate the other leagues. Why are we hiring that official to officiate SEC games? That’s a problem.
“We got our tails kicked. Officiating had nothing to do with us getting beat today. Was Chris the only guy that pushes? No one ever pushes him? He leads the country in free throw attempts, but no one pushes him? But he’s the guy that pushes everybody? No one ever fouls him when he shoots around the basket?”
Cassell was on the crew for Kentucky-Tennessee on Tuesday.
“I’ve never, ever, ever spoken about officials because they got a hard job,” Martin said, “but for our league office to allow that to happen, that’s wrong. I’m sure someone’s going to call me and say, ‘Why did you say that?’ And I’m going to tell them, ‘It’s what I feel and I’ve told you this before and you know that I’ve told you this in private because it’s the way I feel. It’s not right.’”