Posted February 10, 2014

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart suspended three games for shoving fan, but don’t expect much else to change

Big 12, Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech
Marcus Smart will sit three games after he shoved a fan in Oklahoma State's loss to Texas Tech. (John Weast/Getty Images)

Marcus Smart will sit three games after he shoved a fan in Oklahoma State’s loss to Texas Tech. (John Weast/Getty Images)

So Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart received a three-game suspension for shoving a middle-aged Texas Tech fan who called him a “piece of crap.” That was the party line agreed upon by everyone Sunday, from the player and fan intimately involved to the Big 12 conference offices up the track. Investigations were completed. A video shot from what looked like Mission: Impossible-level equipment was produced to bolster the narrative. Everyone was determined to respond fast and to forget what happened faster.

“This is not how I (conduct) myself,” Smart said at a news conference Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after the incident with Red Raiders fan Jeff Orr. “This is not how this program is run. This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me. Just can’t let that happen again. It’s something I have to learn from — the consequences that are coming with it, I’m taking full responsibility. No fingers are pointing. This is all upon me.”

Here’s betting that Marcus Smart will change, that the suspension lets some air in the room and a frustrated sophomore star learns to channel his passion more constructively. Here’s betting that Jeff Orr will change, that he will return from his – chortle, cough, snort – “voluntary” time away from any Texas Tech basketball games and stick with PG-rated heckling next season.

And here’s betting that ends the list of changes.

The call for a reexamination of fan behavior and how players and fans interact is noble and justified. And no matter what happened with 6.2 seconds left in Lubbock on Saturday night (below), it’s unfortunately an exercise in tilting at windmills. No one is willing to hear it. The intensely visceral and entrenched reaction to the Smart/Orr incident suggested that much. The flume of declarations about which side was blameless was a shade of the blind zeal that causes some fans to say really, really nasty things and not feel all that bad about it.

It is reality even if it’s a shame, because there’s a discussion about workplace environment, for lack of a better term, to be had. This would be a group of unpaid laborers, and maybe it’s fair to ask just what level of behavior they’re entitled to expect in hostile territory – but more importantly what responsibility schools bear to prevent them from being declared pieces of “crap,” besides some warnings on the back of a ticket stub and a pregame announcement about sportsmanship that might as well be delivered in Urdu.

Just one week earlier and hundreds of miles away from Lubbock, a Wisconsin student sat on his friend’s shoulders wearing an adult diaper as an Ohio State player shot free throws at the Kohl Center. That’s hilariously fair game. A grown man telling a soon-to-be 20-year-old that he is a “piece of crap” seems like despicable behavior — no matter how far it is from the racial epithet that both Orr and Texas Tech insisted never happened.

“We talked to our players a lot, especially lately about playing within the lines and not worrying about fans or referees,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said Sunday. “Worry about the things that you can control, and our team needs to be a better job of that… I’ve spent an enormous amount of time talking about how to handle a situation like (hostile crowds). I haven’t spent an enormous amount of time talking about that particular situation. But maybe because of fans being closer, that becomes a part of the game and we see it all the time.”

They will, because if there are ushers or security personnel at a given game, they aren’t going to act like schoolmarms patrolling the aisles. If there aren’t ushers or security, schools probably won’t want to pay for them. Even more cynically, telling the home fans to keep it civil adversely affects the chances of the home team winning. Just guessing that coaches and administrators will take their chances on kids not laying hands on fans on the road, so they can benefit from the same hotheaded ticket-holder behavior at home.

Had Marcus Smart sent a dart of abuse back to Jeff Orr and walked away, Jeff Orr probably returns to his seat at the next Texas Tech home game and sets about mocking or degrading teenagers without a hint of good humor. Now that he won’t, someone else will, because what’s the worst that can happen? He gets shoved and puts out a statement and watches a few games on his flat screen? It’s almost that the Smart/Orr confrontation wasn’t serious enough to represent a watershed. It’s a mouthy adult and an impassioned young adult and a mistake that will slide out of consciousness by midweek. Either Jeff Orr was a jerk or Marcus Smart was a jerk and no one was budging off that from the start. No one will change because no one sees the need to.

“This is a great opportunity for Marcus to learn, for me to learn, for coach Ford, for every member of the team, for every other athlete and every other coach at our institution, and for sure our fan base,” Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said. “Let’s be respectful when visiting teams come into our stadiums and our venues. Let’s be good sports across the board. Not just as athletes, but as coaches and fans. It’s a great opportunity.”

It’s a nice thought, and it will be shouted down as soon as the next game tips off.

292 comments
illinois74
illinois74

Honestly, why all the support for Orr? 


Ok, so maybe Smart fabricated the racial slur allegation or maybe he thought that is what he heard. Or maybe nobody around Orr wants to be honest, because they always sit next to him and because they are TT fans?? If Smart did fabricate, sure he was wrong, but he is still a 19 year old caught up in an emotional moment, responding to a loud mouth fan. I am not a fan of the race card being pulled inappropriately, but it's not like he is an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Anyone that deeply bothered by Smart's comments must be a bit racist themselves, or every bit as soft skinned as they are claiming Smart is. 


As for Orr, why would any mature adult support another adult running their mouth in such a manner. Is 19 technically an adult? Maybe, but any mature adult clearly understands the difference between the expected maturity of a 50 something year old compared to a college kid. I have little sympathy for Smart other than I think a one game suspension would suffice, but  I doubt he expects any. However, I have far less sympathy for Orr, who is expected to be the bigger man in the whole situation. Now, both have apologized, so I suppose it is time to move on. 

WilliamCross
WilliamCross

Another day passes without anyone verifying Smart's version....

MrArlington
MrArlington

Orr is a heckler who likes to have a good time yelling at players. This guy is a dime a dozen. Whether you approve of his antics it doesn't negate the fact that this stuff is common. What is sickening is that Marcus Shart tried to make this a racial issue by claiming Orr called him the n bomb. Orr should demand an explanation from Shart.

12th_Man
12th_Man

Smart should be suspended for the rest of the season.  His schollie should be cancelled.  He knew the rules.  He broke the rules.  Who does he think he is? Ron Artest?  

Macheen
Macheen

Jeff Orr the Air Traffic Controller and middle aged (supposedly) mature adult either thinks it is fun to verbally bully an immature 19 yr old, or he loses his cool and abuses the kid in a fit of anger. Sure makes me feel safe to fly the airways.

OswaldoLe'mon
OswaldoLe'mon

I told a story about working for a Fortune 100 company and having a black co-worker with a monstrous degree that probably cost $80,000 to $120,000 of tax payer money and he didn't know the state capitol of the state he'd lived in for 12 years. This was a high pressure job and he fell behind really fast. Before he could get fired he mailed himself a racist letter at work to make it look like he was being picked on. When he got the letter at work he make a big stage presentation about how he was picked on. What he didn't know is that every piece of mail in the country is photographed, and he was caught in this lie. What he tried to do was despicable and the same as what this kid at OSU has done.

x72
x72

Smart is dumb

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

I guess Smart tried to play the race card and it failed............Trash calling at games have been going on for years, also if another African AMercan called Smart a "piece of crap" would have smart walked into the stand and did anything I think not............

J Diddy
J Diddy

Have to keep your hands off of people unless they're trying to physically harm you. That's pretty much the law in every circumstance in our society. We don't let our five year-olds hit people who call them names on the playground (or shouldn't).  That lesson is meant to stick through to adulthood. 


Smart made a mistake and is being punished for it. Orr is a jerk and got called on it. Moving on...

JackHoff
JackHoff

Congrats to Mr Orr on a job well done, he single handily punched OKLA ST's ticket to the NIT. lol nice job Smart costing your University and yourself millions upon millions of dollars. Not to mention that Mr Orr has an air tight lawsuit if he decides to pursue that route.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Short version is Marcus Smart is a mental midget and can't take a little criticism from fans.

JackHoff
JackHoff

Mr Orr is a great fan and I applaud him for his loyalty to the Texas Tech program. Great job getting under Smart's skin and making sure Tech got the W in this game.

adthomas1982
adthomas1982

What we as fans continue to learn is the mental strength these athletes have to have. I see the verbal abuse at the youth and high school level daily, I can't imagine how much verbal abuse these guys take on the highest level.  I feel bad for Smart, his family, the team and the sport of basketball, we forget these are students....

floorme1955
floorme1955

Let be clear here- both involved were MEN- Smart is not a KID- He's almost 20- so stop coddeling him by misrepresenting him as a child or kid- 


1)Smart's stupid and hard foul cost his team any chance to win the game

2)Tired of being ridiculed by Tech's Super fan and massive blowhard- Mr. Orr

3) Heard Orr's cheering and insults and lost his temper

4) He attack- Pushed or Assulted the loud mouth

5) Realizing his STUPIDITY- proclaimed Orr used - THE WORD in other words-- HE LIED


So now it's all water under the bridge- Smart is gone for 3 games- Orr is gone for the year-- BUT I know a few things- Smart has ANGER ISSUES- HE IS A LIAR- he is a DRAMA QUEEN on court- and flops at the touch of a hand check--  I posted last night- That the only person lower than a person who calls someone the N word- Is the person who lies about being called the N word-- 


I thought Mr. Orr was as low as it got-- Untill the truth came out about Marcus Smart- 

x72
x72

Smart should be charged with a hate crime.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Didn't know Marcus Smart was so fragile, a real sensitive guy. Now that opposing fans know this the heckling will get worse.

illinois74
illinois74

Mr Arlington how old are you? Shart? Seriously? Sounds about as immature as Orr himself. Smarts reaction was no worse than an old man's desperate attempt to feel young and relative in the world. Well Orr proved immature and will be known as he desired, but now only as a complete fool, while Smart will likely go on to a successful pro career.

illinois74
illinois74

Look I don't like the race card being misused either, but I equally hate an immature loud mouth who thinks he is an awesome and entitled fan when he clearly has shown he is worthy of not one ounce of sympathy or respect in this matter. I maintain Orr is easily the biggest tool in this discussion.

illinois74
illinois74

Look in a mirror R-R. Yep that too is a mental midget.

floorme1955
floorme1955

@adthomas1982  WHAT- I played on hostile courts- names, garbage and sharp object thrown at us-- This is something we all were able to endure- This scum LIED and pinned the scarlett N letter to Mr. Orr- 

Even though Orr is a major HOLE```-- Tagging him as a racist is unfair and makes Smart the lowest of scum- PERIOD!

illinois74
illinois74

Not a kid but still a huge difference between a college student and a 50 something man talking like a teenager. Put a skirt and dunce cap on the so called super fan. Texas Tech should be embarrassed if Orr is seen as a super fan!!!

illinois74
illinois74

Got your trolling motor on huh x72

illinois74
illinois74

Tell me what joy a 50 some year old man gets out of such heckling? Sounds to me like he has no life. Time to grow up. College student understandable. Old man not so much.

MrArlington
MrArlington

@illinois74"Smarts reaction was no worse than an old man's desperate attempt to feel young and relative in the world."

Surely you don't feel assault of a fan is equally as bad as a fan calling a player a "piece of crap"? If so, well then I doubt your honesty or your intellect.

illinois74
illinois74

I imagine if I ever had to sit next to Orr we would have words after I tired of hearing is cowardly immature pie hole.

12th_Man
12th_Man

@illinois74  Apparently Smart misunderstood what he said.  In any event, are we to allow any offended player to take on a fan because you think the fan might have offended your dignity?  That cannot be allowed.  Smart should get the death penalty on his college career.  He is done, IMO.  

x72
x72

@MrArlington @x72  lmao awesome, you coined it. Marcus Shart is his name from here on out.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

@illinois74  I see myself and then I see your mother who is on her knees. Which one of us are you referring too?

crashtx1
crashtx1

@illinois74  My thoughts exactly. As I said on another page, wish there was a "let's settle this in the ring' option and watch how brave Orr really is.

illinois74
illinois74

@MrArlington @illinois74  I am not mistaken about anything. I never said it was not assault according to the law. I simply suggested that for a man like Orr to ask the law to be enforced in such petty offense would, IMHO, be quite cowardly. In fact, most cops would enforce it only because it was their duty, all the while complaining at how much a of a wussy Orr was being and how he was wasting their time. In fact most cops would probably tell him he was lucky he didn't get worse, and maybe it would be smarter of him to just watch the game and keep his loud mouth to himself. Are you one of those whiny defense attorney types that jumps at the chance to file a lawsuit out of greed, rather than what is morally right? This old white cop says Orr or anyone else looks the fool when they open their mouths like that to someone, then whines because of a petty little shove in retaliation. That said, was Smart wrong? Yes, a, immature lapse in judgement by a young man caught up in the emotion of the game. Was Orr wrong? Absolutely, but he cannot use the excuse of age or emotion, rather he has no real excuse for such behavior from a man his age. He should be ashamed of himself. He apologized, but was it just a matter of pleasing Texas Tech or was he truly sorry? Only Mr. Orr knows. He should back Smart by telling the school and conference he believe Smart deserves nothing more than a one game suspension. At least that is what this old guy would do if I had made the foolish move Orr made. 

MrArlington
MrArlington

@illinois74 You are mistaken in assuming that bodily injury needs to occur in order for assault to occur. You can't use physical force without feeling threatened. Something called laws governs this. Orr would be in jail if they exchanged words and he shoved Shart.

illinois74
illinois74

You call that mild little shove an assault? Seriously? Only a cowardly self righteous smuck would cry assault after running his mouth like he evidently frequently does when called on the carpet. I am very honest. And my intellect in doubt? So says a grown man calling another man childish names. Much like Orr. Are you two related?

illinois74
illinois74

@Richard--Ramirez @illinois74  Kid? Huh, unfortunately or maybe fortunately I am a 50 year old man who is just seriously tired of  people who feel the need to run their loud mouths for no apparent reason and feel they are actually sounding intelligent or funny, when in actuality, they are simply making a fool of themselves. These types are generally very insecure with themselves and trying to overcompensate for their own shortcomings. I am guessing you are one of these people Richard. It is never too late to take a look at yourself and make changes. Good luck !!

WilliamCross
WilliamCross

You seem like a jerk based on this small sample, so....

illinois74
illinois74

Then equally Orr a lifetime ban from attending any sporting event. While Smart mives on to a nice pro career. I have much more sympathy for a young 19 year who made an emotionsl mistake than 50 something man who's true colors were brought out. Orr is likely a jerk in most aspects of life and a mouthy instigator.

illinois74
illinois74

Only a self-righteous coward would file such a law suit under these circumstances that he instigated. Oh wait that is the typical law suit hungy person and attorney.

illinois74
illinois74

Thanks Richard you just made my point and made even more a fool of yourself you sad little man.

illinois74
illinois74

Why you a blow hard as well? Seriously, if you are over the age of being in college then stay home if cannot go enjoy a game without heckling a player. There is nothing gained by it and only you look foolish.

illinois74
illinois74

Lol crash!! Too many people like to run their mouth while knowing their in a safe place. Orr wouldn't have said a word to Smart man to man. And X if you gotta pack to protect yourself against your own big mouth then stay home.

crashtx1
crashtx1

@x72 @crashtx1 @illinois74  And it's a fair thought that a guy that hides behind women while insulting someone that would kick his butt would be packing.