Marcus Smart shoves Texas Tech fan (video)


Oklahoma State Coach Travis Ford, Marcus Smart and Markel Brown talk to the referee after incident. (Tori Eichberger / AP Photo / Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

An investigation is underway after an incident Saturday night in which Marcus Smart, the star guard for Oklahoma State, shoved a Texas Tech superfan.

Smart stumbled out of bounds after committing a hard foul on Jaye Crockett under the basket during the final seconds of Tech’s 65-61 victory in Lubbock and pushed a fan who said something that has not yet been revealed but clearly angered Smart. The fan, identified as Jeff Orr by Texas Tech athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal, momentarily lost his balance but did not fall. Smart was moved away by teammates, but pointed to Orr and kept talking as he headed for the bench.

Orr, an air traffic controller in Waco, Texas, is a Tech uberfan who often travels to watch the team and Beal says, has never caused problems before. He did, according to a report by CBS Sports.com’s Doug Gottlieb, admit to saying something wrong.

Tech, Beal told ESPN’s Andy Katz is “looking into the situation and trying to gather as much information as possible. If a response is required, we will act accordingly.” Orr, in a Tech YouTube video, is identified as the school’s No. 1 fan and Beal told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that “we have never had an issue with Orr crossing the line in the past.” The network, however, found video of Orr directing an obscene gesture at a Texas A&M fan in 2010.

Neither Oklahoma State Coach Travis Ford nor Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith had much to say about the incident afterward. Smart, considered an early NBA draft pick, has been frustrated of late as OSU has struggled with four straight losses. He recently kicked a chair on the bench and apologized to his teammates for a poor performance against West Virginia.

“I know players are going to go out and take shots at me,” he said before Saturday’s game (via ESPN). “Starting this game, I’m putting it in the back of my mind. If that’s how it’s going to be played, that’s how it’s going to be played. If they can do it to me, I can do it also. That’s my mindset from here on out. Physically, there’s going to be nothing easy.”

Tech and Big 12 officials will review the video to determine just what was said to Smart — and whether to punish him for what he did.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · February 8

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