Curtis Kitchen has followed the Big 12, Kansas State and national college basketball beat including K-State's run to the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 in 2010. You can currently follow his work at his blog: KitchenKC.com In the past, he also covered the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC) for Major League Soccer's mlsnet.com site as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals for the other sports station in town. His freelance portfolio ranges media outlets and publications, including gopowercat.com (part of the Rivals network), collegehoopsnet.com and the Miami Herald.
Curtis Kitchen: What do you want from John Currie?
by Curtis Kitchen,posted Mar 23 2012 5:46PM
It has been an interesting past week or so, trying to gauge what it is, exactly, that K-State fans want from their athletic department.
After having the last five days or so to consider a wide range of comments, emails and message board threads, the best educated guess I can give is: While most fans came to their senses after initial outrage over the Jamar Samuels decision, there are a dedicated few who would burn the entire money-making business to the ground in exchange for a decent basketball team.
In their mind, it does not matter what it takes. The only goal, come hell or high water, is for John Currie to keep Frank Martin happy.
Friend, did you ever think that might be impossible? Or, maybe it's just a bad idea considering Martin's reaction that he would have played a guy despite an NCAA official ruling Samuels was, in fact, ineligible over his cash acceptance?
I think I've written that sentiment three different ways this week - not because I want to, but because I don't know think some people are letting it settle in. If Currie had allowed Martin to have his way, K-State could be looking at much, MUCH bigger issues regardless of whether Martin chooses to remain the head coach or not.
Isn't that a warm, cozy feeling?
There are some who believe that, if Martin chooses to leave, that the Samuels decision will have been some sort of final straw that broke the relationship's back.
Martin made it clear he would be willing to listen to offers a year ago. When the right offer didn't come along, after a solid couple of weeks of letting it hang out there, it was only then that he said the media and public basically were creating a story out of nothing. This year, Martin again is choosing to let things play out in public, neither confirming nor denying that he has any interest in the South Carolina job. All it would take is a simple: "No, I'm not interested. I'm happy at K-State."
That's not coming, either...not yet anyways.
I've spent the past eight days or so chasing rumors of where Martin may or may not have his eyes set to coach next. While the latest is South Carolina, there were one to two others that were just as random but offered much of the same benefit. Neither turned out to be true because those coaches will remain in their jobs (and out of respect, I won't name them). But, the information came from wholly independent sources within the coaching world, telling me straight-out that Frank Martin is being talked about by his peers.
Those whom I've talked to have the same line of thought as the general public: Martin is looking to get out.
It isn't a bad thing. Coaches move. And, frankly, I'm interested to see what kind of job John Currie could do in hiring a coach. It's really the last great unknown about him. He has proven he can fundraise. He's proven he can spearhead development projects. He's proven to be a superior day-to-day business curator.
His detractors like to point out that he's done all of this as a resume builder. If true, fine. K-State supporters should be thrilled as the university and its fans have seen the direct result of his work. And, if he is motivated by building his resume, why in the world would he want a terrible coaching hire on his record?
Think about that.
Regardless, let's end this post with how we began it: What, exactly, do you want from your athletics director? I'd love to know because 1) running a clean ship 2) making improvements across the board and 3) making money don't seem to be on some folks' job description.
Email me with your requirements at: email@example.com