- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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Martin met with South Carolina officials Monday, and said conversations first started between his party and South Carolina on Saturday. Martin had texted Friday night that he had not spoken with South Carolina officials.
He was in New York to work for the CBS studio show. Martin was asked on air whether he had spoken with South Carolina but at that point he personally had not yet.
Earlier Monday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said South Carolina was reviewing a potential $2.05 million deal to hire Martin. Martin's Kansas State contract paid him $1.45 million a year. The source said the South Carolina board was reviewing the proposal and, if the framework of the deal was accepted, a formal offer would be made to Martin and he would accept.
The source said Martin was intrigued by joining an athletic department that has a national champion baseball team, Steve Spurrier coaching football and Dawn Staley as coach of the women's team. Martin also is interested in working for athletic director Eric Hyman and wants the challenge of getting the Gamecocks to the top of the SEC.
By joining South Carolina, Martin is closer to his native South Florida and recruiting ties. But he trades a newly established basketball school for one that has struggled to find its place in the SEC. A number of sources said Martin and the Kansas State administration have been at odds recently and that might lead him to leave.
Martin was open about his interest in the Miami opening last year but was never interviewed. He stayed and took the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament yet again while Miami was in the NIT. South Carolina finished last in the SEC under former coach Darrin Horn.
Martin, 45, was under contract with Kansas State through 2015 after signing an extension two years ago.
Martin is a native of Miami and coached high school basketball there for 15 years. He joined Northeastern University as an assistant coach in 2000 before working in the same capacity for Cincinnati and Kansas State. He was named coach of the Wildcats in 2007 and has led Kansas State to three straight NCAA tournament appearances.
Martin earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Florida International in 1993.
Martin had made headlines Monday for another reason. Speaking during Sunday's broadcast of the NCAA tournament on CBS, he said he regularly paid collegiate players who had played for him in high school when they had nowhere else to turn.
Working as an analyst on the telecast Sunday, Martin seemed to be making a case for better compensating collegiate players in need as he defended Kansas State senior Jamar Samuels, who was held out of the Wildcats' final game because of an eligibility concern.
"I coached 16 years in the same inner city in Miami that I grew up in. Do you know how much money I sent to kids that played for me in high school when they were in college because I knew where they came from?" Martin said, according to a transcript of the broadcast published by the Kansas City Star. "I knew they didn't have a father figure."