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Allowing Damontre Harris to transfer to Florida was the right thing to do, Frank Martin says

It’s not exactly the way he had hoped to start his tenure as South Carolina’s new basketball coach, but dealing with transfer issues when you take over a new job is sometimes part of the deal.

And former Kansas State coach Frank Martin said his decision to allow 6-foot-9 forward Damontre Harris to transfer to Florida was about doing the right thing, even if it wasn't the most ideal situation for the Gamecocks.

“If that young man does not want to be at this school, then you shouldn’t hold him hostage,’’ Martin said while attending the SEC spring meetings. “Now we’ve got to compete against Damontre and I don’t like that. But why should I block him from going to the school he wants to play at, as long as things were handled the right way?  I don’t believe in this whole thing that you should be able to recruit guys (at other schools) that’s crazy. But as long as things are handled the proper way, as long as we all handle things like adults and educators and those kids and those families are up front and communicate with all the appropriate people, it’s no different than me getting out of my contract, if I handle things the right way.’’

Martin, who has a longstanding relationship with Florida coach Billy Donovan dating back to Martin's high school coaching days in Miami, is in his first few months as the Gamecocks' head coach. He said his early meetings with his players have included letting them know their ultimate goal is to have South Carolina basketball among the elite programs in the SEC.

"Our challenge, our duty, is to elevate our program to the levels where Kentucky and Florida have been,'' Marrtin said. "I know if we can compete with those two schools, we can compete with anybody in the country.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:10am]


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