Frank Martin advocates cleaner language by fans

9 Feb

This afternoon, student season-ticket holders received an email from head coach Frank Martin (via K-State Sports) in which he asks students to refrain from profane chants that have recently become popular in the student section. In the email, he acknowledges his own propensity for language and says that he will work on eliminating profanity from his own behavior. All this comes, of course, in the name of representing Kansas State University the right way.

There are two chants in question: one in which students start with “K! … S! … U! … Motherf—— Wildcats!” and another that takes place during Sandstorm, which has somehow lent itself to the accompaniment “F— KU!”

This call to better language likely comes as a shock to anyone who has seen Martin on the sideline during a game. For all the qualities people love about him, it is nearly impossible to argue that he has become notorious for his colorful language.

For your assessment, here’s the e-mail in its entirety:

I summarized this e-mail for Jamar Samuels, Rodney McGruder and Thomas Gipson and asked what they thought about it. They were amused, to say the least. They grinned, looked at each other and laughed out loud, faces registering surprise. Samuels applauded, while the other two laughed and shook their heads. I asked if they were going to hold him accountable to that e-mail now, and they agreed with more smiles.

Even though it seems improbable, I think this is a great move … as long as Martin follows through. By sending out an email to all student season-ticket holders, he will have quite a few people to hold him to his words.

As much as people tend to dismiss bad language these days, especially in the realm of athletics, it does reflect poorly to a certain extent. More than anything, people – especially those who only see him during games – notice the fluff words (read: swear words that don’t carry meaning other than an emphasis of frustration and fury) instead of the message behind them.

A majority of athletes have played for coaches who cuss fluently, but few do so with more vehemence than Martin.

In his first year at Kansas State, Gipson said the words take some getting used to.

“I had other coaches who were just like that, but Coach Martin steps it up a notch or two on it,” Gipson said, “but it’s not about what he says, just how you take it. You listen to what he’s saying and not what he’s actually saying saying. It just depends on how you take it. You have to be mentally strong to take what he dishes out.”

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