Jamar Samuels may have violated an NCAA rule when he accepted $200 from his former AAU coach and family friend Curtis Malone, but that rule in principle is something Martin doesn’t agree with.
“There are a lot of rules that don’t understand the culture of these kids and where they come from,” Martin said on CBS. “Jamar walked into an unfortunate situation, because like I’ve told everybody, he didn’t ask an agent for money. He didn’t ask a booster for money. He didn’t take advantage of being a student-athlete, because he asked someone he met after he got into an NCAA institution for money. He asked a person who has been a father figure in his life since he was about 12 years of age. What is he supposed to do?”
“I understand there are rules and you’ve got to protect institutions and you’ve got to keep amateur athletes amateur. I get all that and I’m all for doing things the right way. That’s why after the game I said he didn’t do anything wrong. When they put me in my grave that’s still going to be my opinion.”
Martin said when he was a high school coach in Florida he would help his former players out, much like Malone did.
“I coached 16 years in the same inner city in Miami that I grew up in,” he said. “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? I knew they didn’t have a father figure? I’m not going to tell you who they were, but I sent them a lot of money over the years to make sure they could take their girlfriend out to the movies, make sure they could wash their clothes and do all the things that scholarship money doesn’t cover.
“They don’t have an option. It’s not like they can work while they’re in college. They can’t find ways to make money. When there is no money at home, who is going to help these guys?”