OTC: Frank Martin’s Need To Bully The Media Steps All Over Pullen’s Historic Night


“That’s what you wanted to see? Is that what you were trying to get outta him? Make him cry here in front of people?” Good question!”
Frank Martin, to The Star’s Kellis Robinette, after Robinette asked Pullen to talk about his emotions after setting the all-time scoring record, tying his personal game high but being unable to win and advance, in K-State’s televised postgame presser following their loss to Wisconsin
GH: Frank the bully was front and center once again Saturday night. This time he couldn’t help steal the spotlight and moment from one of the greatest clutch players the Big 12 has ever known. Martin is either simply too immature to be the head of Kansas State basketball or simply too inexperienced in handling pressure in big-time sports. Saturday in Tucson he again looked very much like the out-of-control high school coach from which he so adamantly tries to distance himself.
“I think Frank Martin just overreacted. It was a good question. If Frank Martin wouldn’t have said anything, would people still be up in arms about it? I don’t think they would. I think Frank Martin saying something made an issue out of something that never should have been an issue.”
Robert Ford, who covered the K-State press conference in Tucson for 610 Sports
GH: Martin overreacts to everything. With his team down four and one second on the clock he put on his crazy face and demeaned his freshman point guard on national TV. After seeing Martin rip into Will Spradling, one east coast writer wrote he would never allow his son to play for Martin.
“I didn’t think that Frank needed to jump in there, that’s all. If he didn’t like the question he could have talked to the reporter afterward. I thought it was Frank taking over where he didn’t need to take over.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
“I still like Frank Martin, but it’s time for him to grow up and understand that the media isn’t there to play pattycake with him. His reaction to KellisRobinett‘s question was immature, emotion aside. Pullen was the grown-up at that post-game news conference. Frank has to understand this is big-boy hoops. If he doesn’t want all sides of this, he can go coach in the Shawnee Mission School District.”
Kent Babb, Twitter
GH: Bam! Finally! A member of the mainstream local media steps up and publicly states what needs to be stated. Martin is a bully who thinks he is the only person allowed to play tough guy. When the media even hints at attempting to do their job above the level of an SID, Martin attempts to belittle, embarrasses and chastise that member of the media. I’d prefer to read Babb’s words in The Star rather than on Twitter but it’s a start.
“It’s a sick and twisted accomplishment for the reporter who got Frank Martin riled up.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: I don’t know what angle Shariff was working with this comment. If anything, Martin’s blowup with cause Robinette to look over his shoulder and check the back seat of his car concerned about crazed fans who are fueled by Martin’s immature act.
“What a joke.”
Frank Martin, with great disdain in his voice, following Pullen’s answer to Robinette, truTV
GH: Martin was/is the joke. Pullen just performed on the biggest stage of his sport at the highest level for the second March in a row and instead of recognizing and reveling in Pullen’s greatness, Martin has everyone talking about him and Robinette. I understand that Martin meant to protect Pullen but instead he ruined what should have been a proud moment for Pullen and K-State basketball. There is no shame in losing a game – especially one where you compete at the rare level Pullen did.
“I appreciate Frank’s passion, but that response wasn’t called for. Fair question. Gotta be asked. Response took focus from great game/career.”
Austin Meek, of Topeka Capital Journal, Twitter
“Saying, ‘What a joke,’ is uncalled for by Frank Martin. I don’t think the questions from Kellis Robinette made Jacob Pullen cry. Frank Martin tried to make it like Kellis Robinette made him cry. That wasn’t the case.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
“For you Chiefs/KSU fans, Frank and (Todd) Haley are both in danger of letting emotion and lack of emotional control overshadow promising careers. Haley seemed to at least recognize this to a degree from 1st to 2nd years. It’s time for Frank to do the same.”
Kent Babb, Twitter
GH: Is Frank going to learn from his mistakes or simply implode and be gone in a year or two? Great people learn from their mistakes. Martin so far seems even unwilling to acknowledge he makes any errors.
“No one on this show has a problem with anything Frank Martin said. I don’t have a problem with Kellis Robinette’s question. I don’t have a problem with Jacob Pullen’s answer. I don’t have a problem with Frank Martin defending his player.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: As I listened to 810’s morning show I wanted to hear an opinion on the Frank Martin incident. One that took a strong side. Instead we got fluffy pancakes with a large dose of sugary syrup. It was like listening to Disney Radio. Everything is great! Everyone is right! Let’s eat another sugar-cone waffle! It was bad radio personified.
“I asked with the best of intentions. I asked a valid question. That’s all you can do. … I think some K-State fans are upset about it and some of them aren’t.”
Kellis Robinette, in an interview with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on Monday, 810 AM
GH: Robinette was as nonplussed as anyone I’ve heard on the radio. He said almost nothing and acted as if they was very little to the story. Wrong. The interview was so bland it had me wishing Fescoe had interviewed Robinette.
“It sounds like he’s a little tired of talking about it. He sounded like he wasn’t particularly glad to talk about it.”
Nate Bukaty, after Robinette’s passive interview, 810 AM
“Cool scene outside McKale (Arena in Tucson): Bunch of Wisconsin fans waiting for team. K-St kids exit and Badgers fans give them ovation.”
George Dohrmann, Twitter
GH: Even K-State’s opponent realized what a tremendous effort the Cats put in despite their loss. I know Kevin Kietzman has stated he sees these types of tributes from the opposition as demeaning to his team but I find it to be one of the reasons I enjoy college athletics.  
“We are not supposed to get caught up in the teams we cover but we do. Anybody who tells you we don’t, they’re lying to you!”
Jack Harry, TV 41
GH: For years JoPo would write in The Star that he didn’t have a favorite team. He refused to be one of us. It always made him more plastic a read for me than Whitlock, who wore his team colors on his forehead. I want my sportscasters to be fans. I want them to follow and root for their teams. But I also believe it is possible to be fair and impartial when covering teams, despite your allegiances. Not many editors or producers will agree with that take.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24 
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21 Responses to OTC: Frank Martin’s Need To Bully The Media Steps All Over Pullen’s Historic Night

  1. uh says:

    uh, thats your headline? today? really?

    interesting to see you think major sports is only a m-f activity.

  2. Ron says:

    “For years JoPo would write in The Star that he didn

  3. 10000 Doleacs says:

    If JoPo said he never had a favorite team, either he didn’t hide it very well or he didn’t want everyone to know he was (and is) a loyal Browns/Indians/Cavs fan until he had fully settled in to the KC media market.

  4. craig glazer says:

    Boy JOPO Got Jacked Coming to KC
    Man Browns/Indians/Cavs, only topped by our losers..Chiefs/Royals/and a team to be named a loser latter.

  5. Jim says:

    Martin is a Clown
    The reality is that Pullen would have started crying if you would have asked him about the weather. We have ALL been at the point of tears when everything is just barely holding together……….and then we try to speak. Trying to talk opens up the flood gates on everyone. Frank Martin’s comments were unprofessional and immature. Christ, he TOTALLY threw Spradling under the bus and thinks nothing about it. Reporters are not there to do anything except ask questions. Do your job, Frank. Let everyone else do theirs.

  6. Gavin says:

    JOPO not a fan?
    I don’t really recall Posnanski ever trying to hide that he was a fan. It’s already been pointed out that JOPO wore his fan’s heart on a sleeve but I can’t find any reference to him denying being a fan. Now, Posnanski’s has put out a lot of words and I don’t have the best internet skills but I sure can’t find anything where Posnanski denies that he is a fan. I think he manages to, at some level, be a fan of every team (he even finds stuff to love about the Yankees and the Red Sox), so maybe that has something to do with it, but I’d be obliged if someone could show me where Posnanski denies being a fan of any team.

    As for Frank Martin, dude’s a clown and I agree that it’s high time someone called him out on it. I only wish it had been sooner.

    But the biggest thing, Greg, is how you managed to avoid spilling any digital ink on the Jayhawks (god knows you had a column ready after the UNI debacle last year) or even the Tigers and their madcap attempt to give away Mike Anderson while keeping Mike Anderson in Columbia. I really did feel bad for Pullen and that kid could play on my team any day, but more stuff did happen this weekend than K-State losing a heartbreaker and Pullen showing that his heart had, in fact, been broken.

  7. gerald bostock says:

    News conferences have evolved from a process to gather information into a form of theater. When cameras are present, the subjects are more into spin than providing information, and many times, reporters are seeking to be heard asking a tough question rather than eliciting information. In this case, Robinette’s question was pretty routine and innocuous; his no-big-deal stance on 810 this morning was entirely appropriate, and it would not be professional for him to instigate or enflame a war with the coach of the team he has to cover. Martin’s response was over-the-top, but based on his track record, not really surprising or even newsworthy. If it weren’t for the cameras being present, it would and should have been ignored as part of the regular but irrelevant give and take between a newsgatherer and an emotional and hostile news source.

  8. dp says:

    No mention of the question…
    I’ll start by saying I’m a grad of the K-State J School and worked on the newspaper and the yearbook staff. I usually will side with the journalist in these situations, but I can’t here.

    Robinette basically asked him how he felt after giving his best and breaking the school record in points, but it not being good enough. That is such a lame question. ‘Uh, thanks Kellis for that question, I feel pretty good my career is over’. The whole notion of ‘you have to ask that question’ is so tired. Imagine the outrage in this town is someone, when Sharron Collins was balling last year, asked him that question? ‘Hey, uh, Sharron, you uh, turned it over a bunch and really didn’t show up today against Northern Iowa. How do you feel about that?’ J. Brady McCullugh (sp?) would NEVER ask a question like that, he knows where his meal ticket is. Besides, if he did, he’d be hung and quartered in the middle of P&L.

    Babb is a joke too, no wonder the Star is losing readership left and right. Funny how so many in the media spend all day on Twitter, Facebook, the radio, newspaper, etc. critiquing others…then if somebody calls them out on it they whimper and hide behind the ‘well the question had to be asked’ BS line. Babb spent Saturday and Sunday sending out tweets like, ‘I had so much fun poking the bear (in this case, K-State fans)……’. Sorry dude, you are the Chiefs beat writer, why alienate a fan base that makes up a portion of readership? I wish there was another newspaper in this town.

    ‘Martin is/was the joke’–GH

    Sorry if GH, Babb and whoever don’t like a guy that does more than give you the zzzz coach speak. Tough sh-t. I love how he stands up for his guys. I wouldn’t trade him for any coach in the league not named Self. And he gets mentioned as a possible candidate for every job opening east of the Mississippi, so he’s doing something right. Calling him a joke hurts your cred GH.

  9. dp says:

    Here’s what he Kellis asked….
    “Jacob, you, I mean obviously, do some good things – set the school scoring record and match your career high in points, but you still can’t get the win. Ummm, I mean, what, how do you sum up the emotions that come after that.”

    Uh, I feel great you smug pr-ck.

  10. tipster says:

    gregg hall is an asshat, who wouldnt know a sports story if
    “”But the biggest thing, Greg, is how you managed to avoid spilling any digital ink on the Jayhawks””

    Which proves greg hall is an asshat unworthy of writing about sports anywhere. His cluelessness makes him unworthy to even write sports for a blog like KCC. If hearne is paying him the same six figures he was paying tony, then this is a ship of fools, run by a fool.

    greg hall would not know a sports story if it punched him in the face.

    hearne, you have/had some real potential here at KCC, but …..well…….. it is kind of rotting on the vine. If you can not see that, maybe you should consider hiring a consultant to give you some insight, because you may be too close to the trees to see the forest. I am honestly offering you well intended advice. I am NOT saying hiring someone like me, I am saying, before this place is ruined, you should consider hiring a consultant to advise you, maybe some from the huffinton post, or other succesful blog……. If you have $100,000 to watse on that human piece of shit Tony, you should have enough to hire a qualified helper, before more reader leave, and then the advettiser leave.

    hall, If you thinl the story of the day is pullen and ksu while the NFL lockout, Royals spring training and other BIGGER stories are happening, then you are are moron. You are unquaifed to even talk about sports, no wonder you sit by a raido all day, you are a fking idiot.

    Hearne you can do a lot better than this asshat. Remember what the man told you… business before friendship……. dump hall, hire a real sport writer……. before you lose your existing audience. people are here for sports, not hall.

  11. Ike says:

    Nice job, but not quite.
    Robinette posed the question so he could get Pullen on the record about his thoughts/emotions about what just happened. And he did it in such a nonplussed way that I agree with Greg that Frank turned into a bully by injecting himself into it.
    Seeing how much Pullen hurt for his team and his school adds context and depth to his remarkable effort on the floor, and helps add to his legend. His effort Saturday was one of the singlular great games by any player in college hoops this year, and one ofthe all-time great games individually in KSU history.
    The question was a necessary one in the minutes following the game. By his answer, I admire Pullen that much more for the competitor he is.
    My question is why must you be such a dick in your response, dp.

  12. Rainbow Man says:

    Frank Martin Is On the Clock
    Next year is the most important year of his career. Things could go either way for this dude. The national media loves him. He needs to make the NCAA tournament again…

  13. tipster is crap says:

    Tipster is crap
    Hey T your spelling is not worth a $5 salary annually, please use spell check. Just a tip you can copy and paste from word, just fyi.

    The story today is the NCAA tournament. That is the only story! You want NFL Lockout update…..Billionaires fighting with Millionaires…ok updated.

    FM is a douche and proved it again, but the funny thing is when the BP from Ne holds the same press conference after big 12 championship game there is no mention here. Greg, Hearne why is that?

    Other than that Tipster STFU

  14. Ptolemy says:

    GH: I don

  15. Sean says:

    When is a graduate a fan
    Robinette is a KU grad. He is doing a job, so who cares. Did you know he is from Texas too. So what difference does it make?

  16. Nick says:

    Media sticking up for media
    I understand when media types like yourself are upset when Frank is mean to you and your bretheren. We all do.

    But Frank also doesn’t like it when media types go too far with his players. The question is who decides what is right and wrong? I do. We do. Your customers that read your work. I decide whether I will click on your web site or buy your newspaper. I am your customer. I do not for the life of me understand why the media think they can dictate how their customer should feel after reading or watching their product.

    I get that you want to stick up for your colleagues. But when crap like this happens, don’t tell me how your job works. Don’t tell me why the question didn’t suck, or why the coach, not the reporter, was in the wrong. Why? Well, because we don’t really give a shit. Your job is to give us the information and leave it up to me to form my own opinion, not to change it.

  17. C Sand says:

    Wisconsin Fans
    I always think the golf clap by WINNING opposing fans is BS. The NU gained great fame with this when they were good. But they were not so much the great fans during many losing games in Lincoln. Wonder if the Wisky fans would have applaunded had they lost? I WOULD be impressed by that.
    FYI – That type of question would not be asked by a local reporter in a KU presser after a defeat in the NCAA.

  18. Rich says:

    I’m a K State fan, but man we have some crazy fans. There was nothing wrong with Robinette’s question, nothing wrong with Jake crying after the game. Frank is a big bully and he acts like a jackass pretty often. I wish he could tone down his act, but I don’t really care as long as he wins games. I just think we all look bad when he belittles the media and his players. It worked for Bob Knight for a while-until it didn’t. Frank will push this as long as he can get away with it.

  19. MoCrash says:

    I can understand why Robinette was so dry during his interview on 810. Frank Martin’s interruption shifted the focus onto the questioner rather than the player, and reporters usually prefer not to be the object of the story. Robinette asked his question in such a way, especially with his laudatory preamble, to be as sensitive as possible. If that got Martin riled up, it is only proof the coach is not ready for the big time. Believe me, if LeBron and Company don’t lead the Heat to the NBA championship, no reporter is going to preface a question about that failure with a recount of LeBron’s stats. Robinette asked a question seeking to probe Pullen’s emotional state after a career-ending loss, which I have done many times with high school seniors in similar situations without a coach interjecting, because many readers want to know what Pullen is feeling at the moment. There is no easy way to do it, but it’s got to be done. Martin, I suspect, meant to protect his player; what he did was demean him, by not according Pullen the respect that he had the intelligence and maturity to handle it (which, BTW, I thought he did splendidly).

    Sorry, dp, but being a J-school grad doesn’t make you a reporter. I have no degrees and have been working in this business for 40 years. It isn’t a career for wimps or lackeys, at least not if done right. If you can’t bring yourself to ask a tough question under difficult circumstances, then you have no business in this business.

  20. SuperG says:

    Robinett’s bad at his job.
    The bottom line here is that Robinnett is a bad journalist. As the Kansas State beat writer for his publication this year he’s proven to be lazy, uninterested, and generally a poor journalist. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s poor at asking questions at a press conference.

    I agree, from a journalistic perspective, it was right to probe about Jacob’s feeling regarding a great career. And it was right to probe about Jacob’s feelings regarding a tough loss. But, without exception, everybody I’ve spoken with, easily recognizes how poorly this question was asked.

    So yes, “The Question” needed asked… I wish a competent journalist would have been allowed to do it. Frank’s been dealing with Kellis “Amateur Hour” Robinett all year. He’s was right to stick up for his player and was justified in pointing out that he’s poor at his job… in other words, a joke.

  21. Merle Tagladucci says:

    First of all who the F is Kellis Robinette, second of all he asked a pretty stupid and unimaginative question and third of all Frank Martin can never not be a douchebag. It’s in his blood.

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