The usually angry Frank Martin was reduced to tears this afternoon following his team's loss without Jamar Samuels. According to Topeka-based writer Austin Meek, Martin was without Samuels because his former AAU coach and DC Assault founder, Curtis Malone, sent him money before the NCAA tournament.
College Basketball Talk put together a solid reconstruction of the news. While he did admit to giving Samuels money, Malone claims it was not extravagant or out of the ordinary. It's the same way when he played with DC Assault on road trips. When he didn't have money to eat, he ate."
Malone asserts his actions did not constitute an impermissible benefit because he had a preexisting relationship with Samuels and his mother going back to his AAU days. Martin also believes nothing improper occurred. Presumably the argument is that this was essentially a friend helping out another friend. A friend who also is getting sued by former Kansas State standout Michael Beasley. Notes, CBT:
Last October, Malone was in the news because another former player Michael Beasley had filed a lawsuit against him. Beasley claimed that Malone had conspired with agent Joel Bell to steer the player to Bell in exchange for bankrolling Malone's AAU team.
Update 7:40 p.m.: CBS Sports is reporting that Malone transferred 200 dollars to Samuels because "[t]he kid's family doesn't have anything and he called me for money to eat." Samuels reportedly received the money on Monday and was informed of the NCAA's decision today.
Report: Samuels received improper benefits from his AAU coach [College Basketball Talk]