Last season, the surprise team in the Big 12 was the Missouri Tigers.
As Missouri kept climbing the polls and entered the top 10, it became obvious that the Tigers were either going to have to pay Mike Anderson a lot more money or he would get that big paycheck somewhere else.
Missouri’s athletic department waited until April 13 —16 days after the Tigers were beaten in the Elite Eight—to finalize a seven-year contract that gave Coach Anderson a $700,000 raise to $1.55 million per year.
As a result, after nearly every game this month, Anderson was asked the same questions about whether he wanted to stay at Missouri—especially by the national media. Some rumors started that the Big 12 Coach of the Year was headed to Georgia, or back home to Alabama.
That’s why Kansas State should be commended for announcing the agreement of a new deal today, even if the timing is a little awkward after last night’s disaster.
It’s impossible to say whether situations like Missouri’s last year affect a team’s play on the court but, without question, it’s guaranteed that there will be no distractions this year.
Martin has to be the frontrunner for Big 12 Coach of the Year, so there’s little doubt that the market dictated that he should get the raise from $760,000 to $1.2 million per year, with that base increasing yearly until it hits $1.6 million in 2014-2015. Whether or not he deserves it given his job and the current economic climate is an entirely different debate, and one I really don’t want to get into on this blog.
The decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering how passionate Frank is about his players and how much he and his wife, Anya, seem to like living in Manhattan, but stranger things have happened.
This contract should go a long way in silencing the voices in the heads of Kansas State fans that remind them how much Frank Martin respects his former mentor, Bob Huggins—you know, the shady-looking character who slithered out of his contract just one year after Kansas State took a risk and saved him from coaching purgatory. Many fans (myself included) still haven’t forgiven him.
Although some fans at rival Big 12 schools might have liked to see Frank go, I think the biggest loser with this new contract has to be Jason Whitlock. In the last two years, his opinions on Frank have ranged from “inexperienced coach who boils from start to finish” (sorry, the column has been eliminated from the Star ’s website) to someone who needs to be rewarded immediately for his accomplishments.
After last night, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just beginning to work on his column predicting that Martin would soon be driving out of Manhattan in a Hummer with his middle finger in the air.
This article was written by hongabear of Ahearn Alley
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