Marcus Smart Suspended 3 Games For Shoving Texas Tech Fan; Both Issue Apologies


Marcus Smart has been suspended three games for shoving a fan in his seat toward the end of Oklahoma State's game against Texas Tech.

The standout sophomore guard, ESPN reported, apologized publicly as did the fan, Jeff Orr, who reportedly instigated by insulting Smart. Oklahoma State is on a four-game losing streak and will be without their leading scorer against Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor, but will have him once again at home to play Texas Tech on Feb. 22.

"I want to apologize to the fan, whose name is Jeff Orr," Smart said in a statement. "I want to apologize to him. I want to apologize to my teammates, to my coaching staff, Coach Ford, my family, Oklahoma State University. This is not how I [conduct] myself, this is not how this program is ran. This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me."

Smart was chasing down a Texas Tech player on a fast break when he leaped to block the layup from behind. When Smart landed, he stumbled into the stands right in front of Orr. After he got up, Orr said something to Smart, who shoved him straight backward before walking away pointing at Orr.

"Mr. Smart's actions were a clear violation of the Big 12 Conference's Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "Such behavior has no place in athletics, and will not be tolerated. I appreciate the efforts of Oklahoma State University athletics director Mike Holder in addressing this matter, and believe this is an appropriate response to an inappropriate action."

Initial reports indicated Smart reacted to Orr using a racial slur, but the Texas Tech fan denied using a derogatory name.

"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 a 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. Additionally, I would like to offer my apologies to Texas Tech fans that have been embarrassed by the attention this incident has created."

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said he knows his player made a mistake, but will always continue to support him.

"Undoubtedly, last night was not one of his finer moments," Ford said. "But Marcus Smart has had many great moments as a person, as a player. And I know Marcus Smart's heart. I know how he's hurting. I know how regretful he is right now."

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