Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart suspended three games for shoving Texas Tech fan

  • Follow College

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart was suspended three games Sunday by the Big 12 for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night.

Oklahoma State's Markel Brown (left) and Phil Forte (right) attempt to restrain Marcus Smart after Smart shoved a Texas Tech fan Saturday. Smart, who was given a suspension, apologized Sunday for his actions.  TORI EICHBERGER/LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Oklahoma State's Markel Brown (left) and Phil Forte (right) attempt to restrain Marcus Smart after Smart shoved a Texas Tech fan Saturday. Smart, who was given a suspension, apologized Sunday for his actions.

The Big 12 acted swiftly in banning the All-America guard, saying in a statement the penalty was handed down for “inappropriate conduct with a spectator.”

Smart apologized to the fan, his family and team for his actions before coach Travis Ford expressed support for the sophomore without dismissing the severity of the player’s actions.

“This is not how I conduct myself. This is not how the program is run. This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me,” Smart said. “It’s something I’ll have to learn from, a lesson I’ll have to learn from. The consequences that are coming with it – I’m taking full responsibility. No fingers pointing – this is all upon me.”

Smart will miss games against Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor. He can return for the Cowboys’ Feb. 22 home game against Texas Tech. But Ford said Smart will be allowed to practice.

Late in Saturday night’s game at Lubbock, Texas, Smart shoved Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr with two hands after it appeared the Red Raiders fan said something to the top NBA prospect. Teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back in Orr’s direction.

Texas Tech released a statement saying they conducted a thorough investigation. Orr denied making a racial slur and Tech says the evidence backs up Orr’s statement.

Orr, who attends many Texas Tech games a year, has voluntarily agreed to not attend any Red Raiders home or away games for the remainder of the season, according to the statement.

“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies to Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball program,” Orr said in the statement. “My actions last night were inappropriate and do not reflect myself or Texas Tech – a university I love dearly. I regret calling Mr. Smart a ‘piece of crap’ but I want to make it known that I did not use a racial slur of any kind.”

Considered one of the best all-around players in the country, Smart has showed frustration more than once during an inconsistent season.

The sophomore guard got off to a fantastic start, leading to speculation that he could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft this year. He has struggled in some recent games, though, including a four-point effort against West Virginia when he kicked a chair on the bench. That led to him apologizing to his teammates afterward.

But Ford felt this incident was unprecedented for Smart.

“Marcus Smart made a big mistake last night. He knows that,” Ford said. “I know Marcus Smart. Pretty much been around him on a daily basis for two years. Undoubtedly, last night was not one of his finest moments. But he’s had a lot of fine moments as a player and as a person.”

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 02/10/14 - 08:20 pm
Even though this fan was

Even though this fan was WRONG for getting into it with a player, the player should get all that's coming to him for punishment. There is absolutely NO REASON that would justify him touching a fan...none. I don't care if the fan used the dreaded "N-Word!!!" a half dozen times, saying something to a player does not justify physicality!
I like the fact that the fan excused himself from attending any more TT games. That's the right thing to do, besides offering his apology.
Let the player do the time and let this get behind him.
Please don't let the press/media turn this situation into something where the player was the victim! That's not the way it happened, and we know it.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs