Martin announces Felder’s return to USC, will not play this season

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – After updating the status of the suspended Rakym Felder earlier this week, Carolina head coach Frank Martin announced the final resolution to his guard’s standing with the University during a Friday teleconference.

The following is Martin’s statement on Felder:

“Rakym and I have gotten to a good place, my bosses and I have had that conversation, everyone is on board with him becoming a part of our school again starting here in January, that date has not been set.  I have made the decision that Rakym will not play this year.  There are certain things that I am asking Rakym to do before I allow him to be a part of our day-to-day basketball team again.  Those are things that I’m going to keep in private for now.  Rakym will not be available to the media while we are going through this stage because he is not playing, but I love him as a kid, and I feel an unbelievable responsibility because of how honest and how loyal he has been to me, and to this school, to help him.  He made a bad mistake, a mistake that hurts me deeply, but at the same time, I have an 18-year old son; I want whoever my son ends up trusting in during his college career, I would want that coach to discipline him, to deal with him, but at the same time not throw him out there to the wolves.  Rakym has dealt with pain for his mistakes in a serious manner.  He has impacted a lot of people in ways that have hurt people, he understands that, I understand that, his teammates understand that because our team has also been impacted by his decisions.  We have made the decision that we will allow him back, and I – me, no one else – made the decision – he is eligible to play if I chose to play him; I made the decision that he will not play this year and he understands.  He is an unbelievable young man, and I’m excited to see if I can continue to help him become a better person, before we worry about him playing basketball.”

Friday’s teleconference in full with Martin, Chris Silva, and Maik Kotsar can be heard here. USC (9-3) opens SEC play Sunday (6 p.m.) at Ole Miss.

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