LUBBOCK – After shoving a fan in a 65-61 loss to Texas Tech, Marcus Smart could be facing a long suspension.
Smart, a 20-year-old guard for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, is averaging 17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.4 rebounds, is a projected lottery pick. Smart would also be named to the 2014 Preseason AP All-American team, Smart was named 2013 Big 12 Freshman & Player of the Year.
Down 63-61 with 6.2 seconds left, Smart committed a hard foul on Texas Tech’s Jaye Crockett on a potential breakaway layup and land behind the basket behind the baseline. After being helped up by some fans in the stand, Smart would walk over to the stands and seem to exchange words with an elderly Red Raiders fan—identified as Texas tech super fan, Jeff Orr—and shove him.
Smart would be restrained and escorted away by teammates before being accessed a technical foul. Texas Tech would go on to upset the 19th-ranked Cowboys, 66-61.
Big 12 coordinator of officials, Curtis Shaw stated to ESPN that the officials made the right call in not ejecting Smart, stating that they did not have jurisdiction to eject Smart’s encounter with Orr.
According to media reports, Oklahoma State commentator, John Holcomb heard Smart tell the Cowboys staff that he was called the “n-word’ by Orr. While nothing is yet officially confirmed as of this writing, Orr does have a history of making rude gestures and inappropriate comments towards opposing players, such as the hand gesture in 2010 against Bryan Davis of Texas A&M.
Former Oklahoma State guard, John Lucas III weighed in on Twitter echoing that he verbally berates and abuses opposing players. Texas Tech associate athletic director, Blayne Beal stated to ESPN that Texas tech has never had any issues with Orr that “crossed the line”
If Orr’s latest incident didn’t cross the line, per Beal’s statements suggest, then what would they characterize this latest run-in with an opposing player?
While Smart is guilty of being foolish and stupid for letting his emotions get the better of him, Texas Tech is just as guilty in creating an enabling culture that allows Orr the license to utter and make inappropriate actions that embarrass the university.
With Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby expected to review the Smart-Orr incident on Sunday under the Big 12’s sportsmanship policy, a suspension of Smart could be a possible option.
If Smart does indeed end up being served with a suspension—and rightfully so, for making contact with a fan—then Texas Tech needs to make an example of Orr and ban him from attending any more Red Raider games going forward.