COLUMN: Martin deserves more respect


Reid Gettys gets it. But those closest to the situation don’t.

K-State head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin is still disrespected by the local media. One might expect the national media to be ignoring his success, but they’ve been heaping praises on the Wildcat coach.

Gettys, who is an analyst for the Big 12 Network, spoke glowingly Tuesday morning on WHB-AM 810’s “Border Patrol” about the job Martin has done this year at K-State.

“People up there don’t give Frank Martin enough love,” Gettys said of the Kansas media. “What [Martin] has taken and what he has done with his team and the games they’ve won — absolutely spectacular.”

Gettys continued to praise Martin.

“Anyone anticipate this year from K-State? Anybody look at it that, ‘Hey, we would be arguing whether we’re a lock or a bubble?’I understand the dominance of Kansas, and I understand the history of Missouri, but I don’t understand why Frank Martin doesn’t get more love.”

Martin didn’t get much love from his peers, either. The Big 12 coaches picked the Wildcats to finish eighth in the conference standings in the preseason poll.

It’s nothing new for Martin, who has been disrespected by people in the media ever since he took the job at K-State.

But why? Bob Huggins is one of the most credible coaches in the game. His name alone commands respect.

Martin was Huggins’ right-hand man, not just at K-State in 2006 but also at Cincinnati the year prior to arriving in Manhattan.

Shouldn’t that have given Martin credibility when he landed the job? Usually, being the top assistant for a coach with more than 600 wins and a 74 percent winning percentage would do so — wouldn’t it?

After all, long-time Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins had never been a head coach once in his career, but was instantly accepted as a media darling when he was hired at Stanford this past year as the head coach. Why? Because he worked with Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski for 10 years.

One would venture to think that if Martin had served under Krzyzewski for a few years, he would have been a top hire in the media’s eyes.

The national media is starting to recognize the success, but the local media — not so much. It’s a shame because Martin has done a magnificent job.

Many people have said Martin was a product of having two one-and-done players in Michael Beasley and Bill Walker. He has proven now that he can win without them.

He has raised the expectations of K-State fans, a group that, for more than a decade, sat and hoped for an NIT bid.

Now, K-State fans continually hit the refresh button on their Internet browser to see whether ESPN’s daily bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the Wildcats in his bracket.

Martin’s players might not have the talent of a top-four team in the conference, but they play like they do.

Credit goes where credit is due, and Martin, you deserve the credit for what you’ve done. It’s time the rest of the local media jumps on the bandwagon before there’s no room left.