Marcus Smart suspended three games for shoving fan (video)


Markel Brown and Phil Forte restrain Marcus Smart on Saturday night. (Tori Eichberger / AP Photo / Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

Marcus Smart, the Oklahoma State sophomore who shoved a Texas Tech fan in the final seconds of a game Saturday night, has been suspended for three games and he and the fan exchanged statements of apology.

“I want to apologize to the fan, whose name is Jeff Orr. I want to apologize to him. I want to apologize to my teammates, to my coaching staff, Coach [Travis] Ford, my family, Oklahoma State University,” Smart said in a brief news conference. “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.

“Just can’t let that happen again. This is a lesson I’ll have to learn from. The consequences that are coming with it, I’m taking full responsibility. No finger pointing. This is all upon me.

“I just want to really apologize to those that are very important to me. I feel like I let my teammates down. These guys mean a lot to me. Not to be able to be out there with them, it hits me in my heart. I have a lot of people that look up to me, a lot of little kids, so once again, I truly apologize. This is not me. I really do apologize for it. Like I said, I take full responsibility and the consequences that come with it.”

Jeff Orr, the Tech super fan who infuriated Smart by calling him a “piece of crap” as he stumbled into the crowd in Lubbock, agreed to attend no more Tech games for the rest of the season.

“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 (via ESPN). “My actions [Saturday] 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.”

Smart will not be eligible to play until Feb. 22, when Oklahoma State plays Texas Tech in Stillwater.

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 10, 2014