K-State AD denies rift led to Martin's departure

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas State athletic director John Currie denied Tuesday that a rift with Frank Martin was the primary reason the popular basketball coach left for the same job at South Carolina.

Currie said he tried to offer Martin a chance to restructure his contract several times over the course of the season. That included a last-minute pitch Monday, when Martin called to inform K-State officials that he was accepting an offer from the Gamecocks.

Currie was joined at a news conference Tuesday by Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, who offered support of his athletic director.

Currie said he would begin the search immediately for a new coach. He would not say whether he has a list of potential candidates and declined to offer a timetable for the hiring.

This will be the first time Currie has hired a major coach since taking over in 2009.