Marcus Smart needs professional help


Let's hope Marcus Smart, spiraling dangerously out of control, gets the suspension he deserves and the counseling help he clearly needs.

Something — perhaps the decision to turn down probable guaranteed millions by returning to Oklahoma State for a sophomore season back-firing with each missed three-point shot that easily could have been an assist for a better shooter — clearly is eating at the projected lottery pick of a year ago.

Smart's decision to shove a Texas Tech fan in the stands, supported by nobody in the building, maybe even the planet, will qualify as the bottom for the point guard who is hurting his team and his draft stock in a louder way every day.

The saddest aspect of Smart's night came after his unbelievable shove of a man who appeared to be in his late '50s or so. He barked at teammate Markel Brown, who tried to restrain him, yelled at the ref and his coach and everyone else in his path, hoping to hear words of support from somewhere.

He was escorted off the court by a man from the Oklahoma State bench who clearly was concerned Smart was capable of making a horrible situation worse. Smart probably feels as if he doesn't have a friend in the world right now. It's his No. 1 enemy who should concern him most. That would be himself.

Smart needs professional help. After he gets it and is allowed to return to the court at some point, his road map back to a spot in the NBA draft is not all that difficult to follow: 1. Break down the defense with drives to the hoop and pass the ball to one of three more skilled scorers on the floor with him: Brown, Le'Bryan Nash, Phil Forte; 2. Stop flopping; 3. Stay on the court.


Jeff Cuttell 8 years, 6 months ago

The same fan at a different game. He makes a habit of this. No excuse for Smart, but this guy needs to get reeled in....

Jesse Johnson 8 years, 6 months ago

I saw this posted on the comment boards on ESPN as well. I'm really impressed someone was able to find this at all, let alone within hours of tonight's incident.

David Kemp 8 years, 6 months ago

Niiice. Smart obviously overreacted in the heat of battle, but this fan needs to be banned either from the area a or any seat close to the court. One should be more humble supporting a team with techs credentials.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

By the footage of what happened to Smart that guy wasn't doing much, but I want to see what was said before I come with a conclusion. Smart has shown signs of being a loose cannon. I totally see him doing a Ron Artest in the stands, but it's ok because he will flop when he does and no foul. A screaming fan can't get in your head.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

I must be blind, I didn't see this fan doing anything to aggravate the A&M players.

Tom Keegan 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow, Great find, Jeff. Agree that it's no excuse for Smart and the guy needs to be reeled in. Smart's shaping up as sad, sad story. Hope he gets the help he needs and turns around his behavior.

kellerman411 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, I couldn't disagree with you more and I believe that opinions like yours are partially what is wrong with college sports.

Marcus Smart is not a professional, he is a student athlete, an amateur. I know this is true because the NCAA, the universities and the media are constantly reminding the kids that because they're not professionals, they can't profit from their own brand and they don't get a piece of the BILLION dollar pie.

So why do they have to act like professionals? This isn't Ron Artest going after a fan who's willingness to purchase a ticket puts food on the player's table. This is a fan who pays a university to come watch a team of slaves perform for fractions of a penny on the dollar and expects to have an experience identical to that of a professional event. Including the freedom to say anything he wishes to the athletes without fear of retaliation.

No matter how terrible of a thing that fat slob said to Marcus Smart, a professional should be a professional and let it go in one ear and out the other but let me remind you, Marcus Smart is not a professional.

If you want them to carry themselves like a pro, treat them like a pro. End of story.

Raymond Wright 8 years, 6 months ago

First, these are not slaves. You should do a little research first. Do I think we should pay them, yes i do. But they are not slaves. I'm paying 120,000 for my master's degree. These kids get an education for free, plus they get to play a game in front of thousands of people. When I was in school, i wasn't a "professional" yet, but you damn well better believe I was a professional in my behavior when I dealt with my chosen profession. You never know who is watching.

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago

In addition to the tuition, they get the immense value that a college degree brings on the employment market, which can amount to 100k per year.

The idea that we should pay athletes because of the total revenue generated by the NCAA is a farce. If they want to be professional athletes and be paid for playing basketball out of high school, there are plenty of options available to them. It's just that none of those options are nearly as good as going to an NCAA school in a makeshift apprenticeship to get ready for the NBA.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Goodness, Jason -- "slaves"?

You have given no thought to that. Athletes sign a contract of their own free will. No one forces anyone to do anything. They can leave at any time. They agree to be an athlete in return for a college education, room, board, etc (compensation). The NBA is the only entity stopping them from making a living (and only in the NBA -- not Europe or at Burger King), and that only lasts one season (NBA).

kellerman411 8 years, 6 months ago

I always have to laugh a little when people bring up a 50,000 dollar education in the middle of a conversation about college athletics as if that money comes remotely close to what everyone else makes on these kids.

I was told once that KU basketball brings in over one million dollars in gross ticket dollars for every single home game. Anyone know if that is true?

My point is, can we get real here for just a second? That scholarship, although very nice to have, is dust on the glacier that is major college sports revenue.

I mean my god, Jack. Did you just bring up room and board? ROOM AND BOARD? I would advise you to educate yourself a little on what types of contracts these universities are signing with network television. After that, maybe look into merchandise revenue for the average university. Then, take into account the outrageous ticket prices and do a little math for some of these collegiate venues that sellout twice a week.

The kids are the only ones in this whole thing who leave with nothing. It's really quite sad in my opinion and I find it puzzling that people are still ignoring it.

Sean Swindler 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, 16800 x average of 30 per ticket = 500,000 or so- I'm sure the high rollers who pay big bucks for their prime season ticket spots push that to a million

Raymond Wright 8 years, 6 months ago

The college makes millions off of student fees also. Are you saying the students deserve a piece of the pie too?

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Leave with nothing? They leave with the benefit of the bargain they made. Again, a kid doesn't have to agree to a deal if he doesn't want to.

It's just like any other business. Freedom of choice. If the athletes there now don't want to play, don't. Others will want to.

Sam's response below hits the nail on the head.

Brendan Hansen 8 years, 6 months ago

I must have missed the post where someone claimed that full ride scholarships add up to the amount that the school makes on the athletic programs. Using KU as an example, tuition, books, room and board for an nonresident student add up to nearly $35,000 per year. That's more than $16/hour at a full time job, without paying taxes! Not a bad college job, IMO.

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago

1) The NCAA is not the athletes' brands. The athletes aren't the ones who turned a game into a multi-billion dollar industry. Yes, sans their participation it could not exist, but the athletes simply play the game. The people who monetized/marketed it into the lucrative pursuit it is now were the administrators/directors of athletics departments that recognized the potential. OSU is not Smart's brand. KU is not Wiggins' brand. If Smart/Wiggins had never played basketball, the schools in question would have churned along the same as they always have, because while fans are excited to see certain individuals play the sport because of their high level of skill/reputation, they are ultimately coming to see KU/OSU.

2) While some people may have difficulty understanding the nuance of how much money a college education is actually worth, the simple truth is that it has a face value of several dozens of thousands of dollars (when you look at the cost of tuition, books, room and board, and in the case of athletes, the access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and instruction) and a true value of much more, given the boost to earning potential in the professional world that accompanies a college degree. What do you think most straight-out-of-high-school jobs pay per year? I would argue that most jobs that can be gotten with nothing more than a high school diploma are worth far less per year than even the face value of what athletes get in return for playing a sport at their school. When you add in the fact that a college degree opens up a whole slate of better career options with more lucrative entry salaries (let alone higher earnings ceilings), the comparison becomes completely laughable.

They can, and do, profit from their brand (which I maintain is their own skill level at a game, not the overarching brand of NCAA basketball) in a way that the vast majority of college students cannot. Much like it is ridiculous to compare the salary of an individual developer at Apple/Microsoft to the annual revenue those companies bring in, it is ridiculous to compare the compensation given to a student athlete to the overall annual revenue that the entire gamut of NCAA and its member schools bring in.

But all that is beside the point, because the implication of your comment is that only people who are being given a paycheck should be required to conduct themselves with the most basic level of decorum and maturity. Using the term "act professionally" here fails to recognize exactly what it is that Smart did last night. He isn't guilty of acting "unprofessionally", he is guilty of acting immature, inappropriately (for any setting, amateur or professional), and with zero sense of personal responsibility. The fan that goaded him certainly needs to see his own share of disciplinary action, like losing the privilege of purchasing tickets, but don't try to deflect from Smart's completely out-of-line behavior with some nonsense about paying athletes.

Jeff Cuttell 8 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. He's watching his team fall apart around him and thinking of the millions he passed up last year. Lots of pressure

Ian Emerson 8 years, 6 months ago

You have to understand that as a college athlete you take upon a responsibility to stand on a higher pedestal then the fans around you. Smart isnt the first to have those things shouted at him and he wont be the last. Some rise above it and some dont. I fully expected Smart to rise above such things like many have before him but he didnt and it will cost him.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

Whatever that fan said to Smart can't possibly be worse than what some leather-lunged fans screamed at Wilt Chamberlain and Maurice King in Dallas during the 1957 NCAA Tournament.

Steve Corder 8 years, 6 months ago

Chill a little, Sean. The right people with cool heads will get to the bottom of this mess.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

The guy is obviously a piece of excrement, and rather pathetic that TT allows him to keep his seats court side. He obviously said something derogatory to get Smart's attention, but then he also waves his hand in front of Marcus' face right before getting pushed. Seemed aggressive to me, and the guys probably lucky Marcus was as restrained as he was. The more appropriate response would probably include a follow-up visit for dental work. Hopefully, TT also does the right thing and reassigns the guys seats into the rafters.

Raymond Wright 8 years, 6 months ago

so smart should have just got up and went back to the court. How many athletes have faced that guy from TT and this is the only one to lose his cool. Smart is imploding and it's very obvious to everyone. He's just looking for reasons to go off now. Just watch him on the court.

Craig Carr 8 years, 6 months ago

For what? charges cant be filed no matter what is said. not defending whoever that guy is if he said something hateful however law is very clear that verbal and physical are treated completely different. Smart will be rightfully suspended, question now is how long.

Popy Suthiwan 8 years, 6 months ago

Can we please stop with the white trash comments?!?!?!

Popy Suthiwan 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with you to some level Sean... Unfortunately Tom Keegan is a really bad sports reporter and is probably related in some way, shape or form to that Texas Tech fan. I'm suspicious because of the following similarity in traits:

1) Both are fat as hell 2) Both are nonathletic and most likely have never competed in any sport at a high level and don't understand about being in the 'heat of the moment'. 3) Both are white trash

I thought Gary Parrish's article on about the incident was kind of leaning towards the racist, ignorant journalism side, but Tom Keegan's article definitely wins first prize.

Some of you 'white trash' really need to think about the context of the whole situation and look at the other view point. I'm pretty sure what was said to Marcus Smart was pretty offensive for him to react the way he did. And being in the heat of the moment, I wouldn't doubt that other African-American players might react the same way. Most articles about the incident, including this one, discuss how Marcus Smart is so frustrated and that he should have gone pro or whatever. This story is being blown way out of proportion because of the attention/publicity that he's already received prior to the altercation.

Marcus Smart doesn't really need professional help, he's just an athlete who wears his heart on his sleeve and was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm pretty sure if I were him, I would've done the same thing.... maybe even worse.... I would have put a beatdown on that 50-year old racist.

The real person who needs help is Tom Keegan. Seriously Tom, have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror? Instead of recommending others to get professional help. You should first do the following for yourself.

1) Go get a personal fitness trainer 2) Go get a nutritionist 3) Take some sociology/history classes about the civil rights movement 4) And go back to school for journalism

Please do at least 3 out of 4 before you write another lame ass (or at least incomplete) article like this one.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

I think this story is a little rushed. We need some due diligence to understand what happened on both sides before we make declarations about what should be done next. Clearly Smart has to answer for his part in this, but I would like to know more of what the fan did too.

Smart is clearly feeling the pressure of a season lost. One that is no where near expectations or the risk of losing millions he could have already been making. It would be easy to shoulder some of the blame for his above the team mentality with the OSU program and the coaches that have allowed it to grow there. His support team seems incapable of reeling him in, and his temper fosters increased concerns about what he will do next when he reaches his boiling point again. The young man needs some time away from the game to reset whats left of his college season and to put him a path of success at the next level.

It is disappointing to see a talented young player lose his focus so quickly He does need help, but he also needs a better support team around him that will ensure he maintains some semblance of humility and a grasp of his place within the team.

I am not a fan of Smarts, nor even a supporter, but he does deserve a day or two to recount what happened and why, and then to make recommendations for moving ahead. This rush to judgement is unwarranted and unhelpful.

Tom Keegan 8 years, 6 months ago

Rodney: "Smart is clearly feeling the pressure of a season lost. One that is no where near expectations or the risk of losing millions he could have already been making. It would be easy to shoulder some of the blame for his above the team mentality with the OSU program and the coaches that have allowed it to grow there. His support team seems incapable of reeling him in, and his temper fosters increased concerns about what he will do next when he reaches his boiling point again. The young man needs some time away from the game to reset whats left of his college season and to put him a path of success at the next level.

It is disappointing to see a talented young player lose his focus so quickly He does need help, but he also needs a better support team around him that will ensure he maintains some semblance of humility and a grasp of his place within the team."

Isn't this exactly what I'm saying? So based on that, how is my story rushed and your opinion not rushed?

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

See my second sentence.

The story is incomplete without a understanding of the fans role in this. It is like having a trial and only listening to the prosecution and then deciding guilt. As you point out I agree with most of your points, but why rush to post this, within hours of it happening, without the other side of the story? Why not include some detail from the fan which will hopefully arise in the next day or so? It just seems contrived without that perspective.

What the fan did can not justify Smart's reaction but I might understand it better if I can hear what was said and or done to Smart. This just seems a rush to judgement without it.

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago

The behavior of the fan and the behavior of Marcus Smart are two separate issues. Our expectation of athletes to behave with the most basic level of responsibility cannot depend on determining just how bad the thing was that provoked him, assuming that thing is still merely verbal in nature.

The fan should be banned for life from getting tickets, imho. Tickets to athletic events are, on the most fundamental level, a contract between that fan and the school, and part of that contract ALWAYS includes language about appropriate fan conduct. Clearly this fan broke that last night, and based on the video posted at the top of this story, it seems like he breaks it on a consistent basis. Ban him and be done with it.

But no fan's words should be used as an excuse for what Smart did. He could have said the most vile, disgusting, hateful sentence ever spoken to Smart and Smart needs to know better than to react that way. Maybe it's not fair to Smart, but life isn't fair. Aside from the basics of how it's appropriate to act, Smart has to understand that he has so much more on the line in that confrontation than the fan. He has to know that his reaction, no matter what it is in response to, will spell much more disastrous consequences for him than for the fan.

Smart's reaction can be assessed as a cry for help regardless of what is said. He is guilty of pushing a fan in response to something being spoken to him. End of story.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

Well no Sam they are connected when you are discussing what happened. You cannot separate them until you understand the roles each played in the end result. Then you can treat each party as to their role. My point with all my posts here have been you cannot make a correct assessment of Smart till you understand the fans roll. How do you know what to do unless you know cause as well as effect, which is all this story talks about, what happened, not what started us down this path. You cannot jump to the end and expect to know the story. We still do not have clear information on what happened from the fan yet as of this post. You want to ban the fan for life, we do not know what he did yet, other than get pushed for saying something. You may be right but until we know how can make that statement. There is too much rushing to judgement here.

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, I understand that they are connected, in that the behavior of one instigated the reaction of the other. You are missing my point.

There is no context about what the Tech fan said that will change our ability to judge what Smart did as completely inappropriate. Bottom line.

If you want to wait to assess a penalty on the fan until we know exactly what he said/did, fine. That seems appropriate. But we know without a doubt what Smart did. Learning what the fan said to him beforehand won't change the fact that he pushed a fan for saying something to him.

You are parsing where it isn't appropriate.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

Sam they have to understand context to ensure they address the penalty correctly. How can you know what help he needs if you just go by the video? It completely changes what the next steps are, unless you are a mind reader. It's not that it needs addressed it is how. If we went by your logic there would be no investigation. So understanding what the fan did, is important in what treatment Smart should get. Bottom line Sam... All parsing considered.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

I believe Smart needs help. I don't see a person with character. While watching SportsCenter everyone was talking about him cleaning this up for the draft so he can look good for the NBA and I wanted to vomit. He's shown to have anger and self control issues that must be addressed. Let's stop patting him on the back and address the issues beyond basketball. I've got to agree with Tom here because Smart isn't the type of Person I'd want on my team if I were a G M.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with Tom too, My point was that there was no information regarding the fan. The article should include information about the fan, what the fan did. I am not defending Smart, don't want him on our team, but this article appeared within hours of the event without the other part of the story? Why rush it?

Jim Roth 8 years, 6 months ago

Sticks and stones. It's a preschool lesson.

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 6 months ago

Whoa Nellie! I don't care what the fan said, he could have called Smart the "N" word which I really doubt with all those fans around him. Nonetheless, Smart or any player/coach never goes into the stands and not only never confronts a fan, but never push or touch a fan. That's what security is for. One of those unwritten rules like never hit a woman. Capisce!

There's just some things you don't do. And before you call me a racist, Smart's actions reek of a thug. He's 6'5, 220 lbs.

Name calling, heckling happens in sports. Smart's reaction just wasn't smart, it was plain dumb. He's a 19 year old, immature and just lost it. Happens to all us of us. Difference, we're not a sports star and our actions caught on television for the world to see.

3 Game suspension for Smart would be fair plus see a doctor. I don't feel sorry for Smart. His actions have consequences. Grow up and act like a man.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

That guy allegedly did call Smart the "N" word. If that proves to be true, I don't blame Smart for the reaction, but he still has to smart enough to not react the way that he did. That doesn't mean that the Tech fan was in the right either, but two wrongs do not make a right.

Marc Frey 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree that Smart needs a suspension. Having worked around professional baseball and hockey players, I can understand the stress a player has, especially when expectations, whether personal or team are not met. Some of these athletes, even at the college level are wound up pretty tight before and during a game. This does not excuse Smart, but after that play and having some idiot do that, I can see why Smart snapped. I remember something similar when an OSU fan went after a UT player, a few years back. In some arenas, the "fans" are too close.

David Gisi 8 years, 6 months ago

The best part of this video is the google ad for searching arrest warrants that pops up at the end.

Ashwin Rao 8 years, 6 months ago

BTW: There is an article on the ttu site just on this particular fan. This article is from 2010.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 6 months ago

So this probably means he'll be in Allen?

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it means he will be in AllenFieldhouse to see his TubbyTechies get their butts handed to them on our Senior Night. What is more thought provoking is if TxTech still has to go to Stillwater this season...will Jeff go????

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Smart needs to be suspended period. He flat out crossed a line by shoving the fan regardless of the what the fan allegedly said. If it proves true that the Tech fan did use the N-word like Smart is claiming, then that suspension should be a short one and the discipline of the Tech fan needs to be handled by Texas Tech.

Teri Jester 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom - you hit the nail on the head. No one else is talking about the way he acted after the shove. I was surprised he didn't get another T when he yelled at the ref near the bench. And I was even more surprised that after the court storming he was still out there. The way he was escorted off prompted me to say to my family "looks like he has him in a straight jacket" - that's how out of control he was. His own team didn't trust him to leave without acting out. It is sad and he absolutely needs help.

Tom Ringenberg 8 years, 6 months ago

Teri, I'm so glad you and Tom are experts on mental health. Thank you both for contributing your years of knowledge and experience on the benefits of counseling. I would have thought this just involved human adrenaline and emotion.But you guys are right (obviously licensed to practice mental health and qualified to speak on the subject) this guy needs help..

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

WTF….Sean: ”old white guy was making fun of the black young man.” Brett (again): “What is it with angry white men these days?” Those are wretched racial insinuations. MLK’s had a dream of “a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Great post by Jeff and Ashwin. An investigation needs to occur here to find the facts. Regardless of what the fan, identified as Jeff Orr, said, Smart cannot foolish. Can you imagine the reception Smart will get in places like NY, Philly, Boston, and Chicago in the NBA after gaining national attention for his flopping and now this!

My opinion is Smart started down an ill-advised path selecting OSU over Kansas. The Hawks desperately needed the skills Marcus possessed. Self has an impressive record for developing people.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Best thing to do is to ignore Brett McCabe on this stuff. A waste of time. Clearly lacking in perspective and guided by an agenda -- remember, he tells others what they should and shouldn't post when it doesn't fit his point of view. He would be the first to claim racism in a comment or look for a racist motive in a point raised here, but also the first to make a race-baiting comment himself. He's a far left guy and all of his comments on issues like this have that starting point.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

Get a grip Brett. Your interpretation of what is being championed is skewed by a blinding ideology. I'd be very happy to meet you anytime to debate and of these issues. I'd really like to understand how a mind like yours operates. Afterall, you are a Hawk fan so that is very good.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps so, but he is a Hawk fan and that is good. I much prefer debating with guys like you tactics and after the UF game. That was like sitting in a bar after a game. Loved it!!!

Speaking of that, it recalls Mason. What do you think of the game he turned in agains WVU....5 dimes. Look at his WVU and BU games and compare them to earlier games, like UF. Geeezzzz is he improving! Same with Embiid, Wiggins and all the players. Compare out guys this year and previous years to other guys, like Smart and Austin. There is little doubt what Alexander meant by his words when he committed to Kansas. Myles Turner should take some careful notes and pick a place where he can develop. If not Kansas, then Larry Brown should be carefully considered.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Brett - When you say "facts", that's true. Two white dudes that are angry.

But by making that statement, it's the same as watching the news at night and seeing two black guys that robbed the quick shop and saying, "Hmmm .. that tells you something, doesn't it -- two black criminals?" Is that what you are a proponent of?

Suzi: I personally think Mason is the superior point guard right now to Tharpe, except for the outside shooting. Mason just will have more ups and downs. Look at yesterday, who was more effective against the zone? Now it's Mason. Complete 180 from the Florida debacle. Tharpe doesn't attack creases and is just passive. But Tharpe's shooting is exactly what this team needed -- he just needs to shoot a bit more on open looks. Nice to have the two-headed monster.

Scott Murphy 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't care what the fan said or didn't say as a player you can't put your hands on a fan!! Smarts actions last night were deplorable and like Adrian Dantley said after the game he needs to be suspended for at least 5 games. Bowlsby needs to send a message that this kind of behavior won't be tolerated.

Joe Shaw 8 years, 6 months ago

Clearly the old man has issues. Who goes around the country watching Texas Tech basketball.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago that is something that all Hawks fans can universally agree upon!

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

2 points: No question with the bad publicity (flops) and the poor decision making on the court, that Smart's feeling pressure. The TubbyTechie fan no doubt crossed the line himself with whatever he said to Smart. It was a perfect storm.

YES, Smart needs a suspension, but perhaps the duration could be mitigated. He could be made into a horrible example by the NCAA...

BUT that Tech fan clearly has crossed the fan line (more than once), probably a pattern of behavior--> So he may need professional help as well, in addition to seating-assignment "discipline". Dont forget, most security at games is to protect visiting players/coaches, not for fan protection.

Didnt those LOSERS at IowaState help prove all this? Yelled insults at KU's Elijah Johnson all during the Feb23,2013 game, and he shut them up on the scoreboard, and with the final dunk. And didnt Melvin Weathermax try to physically confront the visiting head coach (Self)?

And dont ever forget the restraint shown by Thomas Robinson, just after his mother died, when the Mizzou fans were chanting "no mom Tom" in unison. Unbelievable. And I think the year before, they were heckling Tyrel Reed, and he yelled at the fans hard after burying a corner 3 in Columbia.

Smart will be made an example of, but fan behavior is NOT excusable either. Let's use royalty examples: This fan behavior would not happen at AFH, UNC, Cameron Indoor....

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

No evidence the Tech fan crossed any fan line.

Great examples about EJ and TRob.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

No, Suzi, I disagree. Come on: Marcus Smart would single out Jeff Orr and shove him like that? That's your nationally seen "evidence" right there that Mr. Jeff Orr crossed a line. You saw it, dont ignore it. You should be asking what did Mr. Orr say to Smart? There is standard, every-hostile-arena type of heckling (that is part of the game, we know and accept that). But for it to be a targetted personal violent response by a player, it had to have been something said by that 1 fan. Seek the evidence, dont ignore it. Come on, we dont have to be sociology majors or psychology majors to get that the guy said something and Smart stupidly allowed his emotions to get the best of him.

NCAA should suspend Smart for a game or two (mitigating circumstances), and it also sends the msg that the fan had some culpability.

TxTech needs to investigate and discipline their fan, or set out some fan behavior policies.

Again, a player isnt going to target and react to 1 specific fan without something being said that was way beyond usual heckling. Now if it was just standard heckling, then Smart truly has bigger issues. But there is video evidence this fan is a vicarious & vulgar "participant" in previous TxTech games as well. "Evidence"? Lets keep our eyes open about it, eh? More to follow, nationally...

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

Erich, I've always been a huge Marcus Smart fan and have lamented numerous times last year and early this year my wish he had selected Kansas. I am also not a proponent of non-violent self defense.

In this case none of us know what was said. What if Orr had said someting like "Can't flop your way out of that call" or something like that. Would that be crossing the "fan line." I hardly think so. Also, from what I know of Smart, a comment like that would probably greatly agitate him in that situation. I watched that entire game and Smart was flopping all over the place with the officials basically ignoring it. I can clearly envision Kansas fans getting all over him in a similar situation. Let's hear what Orr said before passing judgment. Regardless of what he said, Smart has put himself in a very bad light for unprofessional conduct.

Our own Brannen Greene should take note.

If we start going after fans for their game time coments, several well attended events would collapse and kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Erich: Really? Folks shoot others over basketball shoes. Don't be so sure (meaning in bold).

He could have called him an f-ing whatever that had no race component and Smart would have been just as justified in shoving him. Smart just can't do that.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Whoa, HEM, shooting someone over sneakers is a criminal act (armed robbery and murder), how does that example apply here, my man? I almost always agree with your A-rated analytical opinions, but not here.

We are talking fan behavior at an NCAA Div.1 Men's Basketball game. Marcus Smart 100% should get suspended for being physically aggressive with any fan. But cant we even talk about some sort of enforceable standard of fan behavior across the BigXII? Just trying to use this incident (& the IowaState crap from 2-23-13 vs. KU) to better the overall situation for everybody.

Most all of us easily see Smart crossed the line and deserves punishment. Why cant we see that maybe in this case, Mr. Orr ALSO needs to be reined-in?

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

HEM, I usually agree with your A-rated analysis, but the example of "people shooting others over a pair of basketball sneakers" is an example of criminal robbery and murder--how does that fit here, my man? Um...we are simply talking about fan behavior & decorum at an NCAA Div.1 Men's Basketball game. There are a subset of fans that DO cross the line.

I agree 100% that Smart should never have touched/pushed or done anything to any fan. He should get a suspension, rightly so. But what about the other side of the equation? Cant incidents like this & IowaSt last year involving KU allow us to even discuss some sort of enforceable fan behavior policy across the BigXII??

This issue has 2 parts: Mr. Smart and Mr. Orr.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

Let's wait until we hear what Orr said. If it was a comment about Smart's flopping that is one thing...if it was about his mother or sisters, that is another thing....if it was clearly racial that is another.

All us fans deserve the facts in this one.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Agreed, Suzi, and Im still waiting to hear what Smartand Orr have to say. Really, we all saw the incident, have heard from neither party publicly, and are left to speculate in generalities.

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago


Are you serious? Watch the video again--the video before Smart turns to confront the fan. He is being helped up and has a pretty normal "we're about to lose this game" look on his face. Certainly unhappy, but not angry in any way. In the shot before, you can see the Tech fan standing just above where Smart landed, then looking down on him and saying something.

As Smart is being helped up by a different fan, his face suddenly changes changes from one of general resignation to being absolutely livid. The idea that there is no evidence that the Tech fan crossed the line is grossly incorrect. We don't know exactly WHAT he did, but it's pretty clear that he said/did SOMETHING.

Is this so hard to believe, given that he is seen flipping the bird to a player in Jeff Cuttell's video?

And if you want more evidence, here is some from Doug Gottlieb's twitter account, from the "horse's" mouth, so to speak:

None by Doug Gottlieb

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

But Sam you say below the fan has no bearing on Smarts reaction. It has no context in what Smarts penalty should be. So up here its relevant, below it's not which one you want to stay with?

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 6 months ago

I hope it wouldn't happen in AFH, but we all know it only takes one. I mean, seriously, there are 10K+ other Tech fans in that video that we have no reason to believe would do something like that, but all Kansas fans would be lumped together by many if one idiot got loose like that.

Eric Mitchell 8 years, 6 months ago

Fans are overly confident that the verbal abuses they aim at opposing players will just to be a distraction. Words that they would not say to this 18-23 old Division I athlete alone. Smart's decision to push the guy was not Smart but I can hardly blame him for pushing the guy. I don't think he needs "professional" help but deserves some respect for showing some restraint. That guy won't be checking in to a hospital because he got pushed. Not a big deal. Smart deserves a 1 game suspension and Texas Tech needs to make sure that that guy doesn't get seats that close to the court.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

I'd suspend Smart until the Big 12 Tourney. A one game slap on the hand won't make him see what he's truly doing. Depending on the history of the fan and what he said something should happen to him too. If he used the N word then I'd make him done for the regular season too.

Eric Mitchell 8 years, 6 months ago

The 3 games they gave him sounds fair to me. Anywhere between 1-5 games would have been fine with me.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't think it's a coincidence he comes back against TT lol

Kent Wells 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom, I don't disagree with your article at all. In addition, I would like to thank you for not leading with "SMART ENTERS STANDS" as every other article has on this matter. The fact of the matter is, Smart (however dumb he is), did not enter the stands to engage Orr. He ended up behind the baseline during a basketball play. It is also very clear that Orr said something that got Smart from zero to pissed off in 1/2 second. I think it will be proven that Orr said something VERY insulting to Smart. None of this is to defend Smarts actions. Orr should be banned (superfan or not) for the remainder of the season if he did what is very likely he did. Clearly the drive from Waco to Lubbock puts him in a very bad mood. However, taking it out on a kid playing a game is just too much. Orr should know better and attend some sportsmanship education. Smart on the other hand, should receive some guidance on how to deal with this nonsense as he now just put a target on his back. I do believe he is cracking under the pressure. Not an excuse. He shouldn't have shoved Orr.

Kent Richardson 8 years, 6 months ago

If this "super fan" is one of the people I have heard that are constantly riding players or referees and being really loud and obnoxious then he is likely being more offensive and distracting to the fans around him than to the players. Smart is only at Lubbock once a year and this man and his mate(s) are at possibly every game. Super fan is getting his own jollies by displaying such crap and probably displays more sadistic and hurtful behaviors on the job and at home. At his age he is not apt to change. Although he may be more emboldened at public events because it feels safer. Cowardly at his core.

Marcus is in a pressure packed environment, self imposed and otherwise. He came back for another year with expectations of self sacrifice and glory. Things have gone south for him maybe for other reasons than just the losing of games. Doesn't respond to well to critique whether constructive and otherwise. After all he is playing as hard as he can every game, "get off my a**, okay?" Has a chip on his shoulder and lacks self confidence.

Two different men, one middle aged and the other young. I feel sorry for both and probably wouldn't want to hang with either one right now at games.

Both need help, only one would probably be accepting or seeking it and that is sad.

As to the media coverage, like it or leave it, it's a business and controversy piques interest and sells.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

Before I say what I have to say let me get one thing clear. Fan should not have said anything racist(if he did) and regardless what was said Marcus Smart should not have gone after him.
To the people who say their fans would never act like that in their field house, hogwash, it goes on everywhere. If you watched the entire game as I did you could see the anger building up within Marcus because he was not getting the calls that he was trying to fabricate. Sometimes, whether it be the fan or the player, things get out of control. If the fan is found to have used a racial slur, then he should be punished in some way. Marcus should be punished regardless. Mr Orr is no different than thousands of other fans across America, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I might add that I am one those fans who at times have said the wrong thing when I shouldn't have.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Jack, for semi-eloquently voicing the "head in sand" approach: Your own quote: "Mr Orr is no different than thousands of other fans across America, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time". Wrong. So if Im sitting right where he was with my wife, and I say zero to Smart as he falls out of bounds in my lap, he is going to just randomly shove me with both arms? You dont get it, clearly, by what you typed above. You are trying to call Mr. Orr innocent, arent you. Wrong place, wrong time? hahahahaha

BOTH Mr. Orr and Mr. Smart deserve some sort of sanction. The BigXII needs to send a msg. It clearly took 2 parties to make this nonsense scene. Recognize it and solve it, dont do head in sand ignorance. I have a problem with over-the-line fan behavior, and I can very easily say I have never said anything to any opposing player (or to a ref) beyond "come on!" or "boooo!". No reason to show personal hate or venom at an opposing player. None.

And of course Smart should have known better!

Joe Joseph 8 years, 6 months ago

Whatever the fan said was rude and disrespectful. Period.

Marcus Smart should not have retaliated. Period!

Titus Canby 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree. And that should be the end of the discussion.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

Hey, Stupid Michael, how are you doing? :)

Michael Leiker 8 years, 6 months ago

One angle I think that is being missed here is Smart's highly overly competitive nature. Generally, being a competitor and striving to win are things that drive an athlete to get better, practice harder, put in the time, go hard every play, those kinds of things. But, you see it at all levels of sports with kids that are in that 99.9% of competitiveness, when they're allowed over and over and over by authority figures to put that competitiveness ahead of having some kind of ethics around doing the right things, playing the game correctly (i.e. not flopping around like a fool trying to trick a ref into making a call and then gloating about making the ref look like an idiot), treating your opponents with a degree of respect, when things start to go bad, they just cannot handle it.

Smart puts winning absolutely ahead of everything else. OSU and apparently a lot of other people in his life have let him get away with that for a long time. Travis Ford's non-reaction to his player's action yesterday was appalling. No matter what that guy said (and that dude looks like a massive POS) Smart is simply out of control right now and just cannot handle being on the wrong side of all of these recent outcomes. The league is loving it and I can only imagine what is being said to him over and over and over in these arenas.

On one hand, I'm checking stubhub every hour watching ticket prices for March 1st drop and loving every minute of it, hoping to get as close as possible to a potentially epic debacle.

On the other hand, I'm truly concerned for this young man. He probably does not have a friend in the world right now and his head just has to be spinning. This is a lot for anyone to handle much less a 19-20 year old. I hope folks down at OSU are keeping an eye on him and his teammates aren't letting him push them away, he needs them right now.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Guys like "West Texas Weatherwax" have got serious problems. What grown man screams like that at a college player? While I find it just as bad when done a pro events, it is still different at a college venue. I will never understand the lack of civility.

Smart deserves a little rope here. He didn't punch the guy. He didn't hurt the guy. He pushed him. With guys at least .. that should be no big deal. It is only a big deal because it was player vs. fan and crossed that line that athletes should not cross. Regardless of what the guy said, Smart's reaction places Smart in jeopardy. He has much more to lose. There are a lot of guys in jail that reacted to an insult or what someone said. Smart should not have pushed the guy, period, because of the line between player and fans. That doesn't mean if they were on the street, or in the parking lot, that the same rule would apply. But even in those situations, all of us have had to make judgments -- is it worth it?

I, for one, can't stand Marcus Smart on the court. But we should temper our judgments a bit and forgive the kid for his poor judgment. But we should also be curious about how guys like "West Texas Weatherwax" are dealt with. A ticket should not be free pass to act like an idiot, particularly directing that idiocy at a college player.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Man, HEM, a few posts down from your response to my post, you hit the nail on the head here! Agree 100%, nicely put! (although I still disagree on the applicability of the shot-over-a-pair-of-AirJordans, as that is a clear criminal example of behavior...while my whole point is some sort of discussion on an enforceable set of standards for fan behavior across the BigXII). Heckling is a part of the game--I got no prob with that...but the part that crosses the line is my issue. I just feel Mr. Orr had to have crossed the line somehow. How about we hear what Marcus Smart has to say?

Sam Constance 8 years, 6 months ago

Great take. As far as I'm concerned, Smart needs a suspension just for the fact of establishing a precedent that this kind of interaction between fan and player is unacceptable. Yes, players should recognize that they stand to lose far more in this situation than does the fan, but as we saw last night, sometimes emotions are running so high that it's impossible to think logically about the risks and things at stake.

That being said, Texas Tech should also be sending a message about how unacceptable this kind of interaction between fans and players truly is. Between this and the video evidence above of this Orr guy flipping the bird at the court, there is plenty to revoke his ticket rights to some degree. Or if you don't want to ban him, move him up to the higher parts of the arena, where at least his completely disgusting behavior has less potential to create this type of a confrontation.

Reggie Flenory 8 years, 6 months ago

two major points here

1.) why in the hell are we talking about marcus smart he doesnt play for kansas so who cares

2.) a lot of you are quick to jump on these kids case we do not know what the fan said however if it was something racial and from what I've read he said something to the effect of go back to Africa then push was well warranted it's one thing to shop at a player about his abilities on the court but when you go racial that puts it in a whole other place if players must be responsible for their actions then fans must also be responsible I feel as though just because we as fans pay to see money we feel as though we can say and do whatever to the players that we want because we are paying patrons which is not the case and the other thing is this guy is at least 50 years old he should know better than to shout disrespectful things and a 19 or 20 year old kid

Ethan Berger 8 years, 6 months ago

What Smart did was wrong and maybe the guy said something wrong too. We don't know, so I choose to not jump on a bandwagon yet. My disgust comes from some of the coaches. I think its a shame that OSU and Baylor have the two worst coaches in our conference. Baylor and OSU have top three talent yet both have lost to much less talented teams. Tech,WV,UT,OU all have exceeded expectations but it seems like OSU and BU every year don't match theirs. Thank God we have Bill Self and are in prime position to win number 10. And hopefully our guys punish other teams fans by winning.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

Erich, We live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. I believe they both will be punished because regardless of what Orr said it appears that he was wrong, as was Smart.

Let me put this in other terms: If you are speeding you are not guilty until your caught

If you pushed first and ref caught the other guy pushing second, the second guy gets the foul

What I am trying to tell you is that this bad fan is not the only bad fan in America, there are thousands including ours at KU. But they haven't been caught.

Some of the worst actions we have displayed is when playing K-State: FU KU, Eat**** Kstate. Maybe in these instances we should have stopped the game, reviewed film and kicked out 75% of the fans, after all, you have do agree that is offensive to KU or KS fans.

But then again maybe you don't.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. I see your point. Plus what is offensive to one person/player/fan may not be to another. My whole assumption (I could be wrong) is that Mr. Orr said something so over the top beyond usual heckling, that Smart reacted in a manner he still shouldnt have.

Regarding my personal thoughts: Being a KU alum, I tend to gravitate to the type of fan behavior we have in AFH. Sure there are raucous nights when even our fans chant "Bullsh-z" after a bad call, but I cannot recall true unacceptable insults at an opposing player. Usual heckling yes, but not personal direct insults. So I think Orr crossed the line somehow...To me the IowaSt stuff crossed the line: hundreds chanting "F--- KU" and it made Hoiberg's 5yr old son start crying, or the several dozen who pelted our players with trash and objects after that game, or any specific acitivity that forced the student body president to issue a public apology to EJ, Self, and the Univ.ofKS. Cooler heads will prevail, as they know a line was crossed, as the Cyclones acknowledged the next day.

Maybe, though, the best summary is: at the end of the day, by their words/ actions, people expose who they are and how they feel. And if they dont want people assuming things about them, then they shouldnt put certain words or actions out there in public, right? (this applies to Orr and Smart, both.)

We will see the NCAA +/- Oklahoma State discipline Marcus Smart, as he deserves. What will Texas Tech do with Mr. Orr? What did IowaState do with Mr. Weathermax and those twitter students?

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't know whether to be confused or offended by your statements regarding KU fans. There are "thousands" of bad fans at KU games? 75% of the fans could be kicked out of AFH at any given time if they were to be reviewed individually? Huh? Have you ever been to a game in AFH? We have one of the most respectful fan bases in the land. I have been to dozens of games, during my 5 yrs there and since, and I've never heard ANY of our fans even come close to demeaning any players. Other than normal heckling that is to be expected at any college bball game. Especially one against a conference foe.
By the way, you ARE guilty of speeding even if you don't get caught. A crime is a crime whether someone sees you do it or not. I sure hope you don't subscribe to this line of thinking with all crimes. Murder? Rape?
I hope I'm just confused, Jack, because your posts worry me to say the least

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 6 months ago

A fat slob in Lubbock said something racist?

Say it ain't so!

Seriously though, kid needs thicker skin if he wants to be a professional athlete. He should be disciplined, regardless of what was said. I'd have at least had some respect for him if he walked out of the game after the comment, instead of lashing out.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

Polarizing responses. This happens when there are not enough facts presented and our own personal perceptions creep in to compensate for missing information.

What a range of comments from slavery to the conduct of fans. A fan in a excited arena said something to a opposing player who took exception. Sorry but that has been happening for a few thousand years. Not sure why we think this is something that does exist in the world anymore, or will continue to exist in the future. It happens all the time in the world and here in our country.

Discussion is great, but let's get the information on all parties so we can frame it with perspective.

Tom Ringenberg 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom Keegan, I am embarrassed that this article is posted and now affiliated with our great institution of the University of Kansas.

A few items:

Can I ask about your professional qualifications? What makes you able to say who needs help with mental health?

I'm a jayhawk fan, still hurt about the back-flip maneuver Smart pulled last year. But, would you be writing the same thing about any of our black players if they were similarly baited by a guy like Orr? Or does this have to due with your loyalty interfering with the fact that if this was Embiid, T-Rob or one of the Morris's this blog would be about "Orr needing mental health"

I really wish you could put this on your personal blog and not risk the reputation of our University. Anyone in the Psych department would tell you that you are unqualified to speak on this subject, and it is insensitive to actual mental health issues, Smart, and our university of Kansas for you to attempt to. I'm embarrassed, and I hope by Monday morning you are too.

Smart is not the only one who deserves a suspension from the university, you and Orr do as well. I hope the chancellor or someone else is paying attention...

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 6 months ago

Site is affiliated the with Lawrence paper, not the university.

Tom Ringenberg 8 years, 6 months ago

Both this site, the LJ world, and the university are making money of guys like Smart. I expect the financial relationships between these organizations is actually pretty significant.

KU can be pretty litigious with the use of their logo, information, and accounts of the games. This site ( seems to get a free pass if there is not a relationship...

Rodney Crain 8 years, 6 months ago

Tom R. This is a relevant sports story today, it is in our conference, and has interesting elements that transcend just sports. Don't see anything embarrassing to discuss it. I know we would see this story if it was a KU player from Tom K. We are fair if it one of us. Due to our poor existing approach to mental health care in the US we should be careful with using that as a headline, but there is nothing wrong here.

Tom Ringenberg 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree that this is a story that news outlets should cover, especially for the Big 12 schools.

But accusing a 20 year old "amateur" athlete of having mental illness is highly inappropriate conduct, and I am (at least personally) embarrassed that the guy who wrote the OPINION piece has Todd Reesing and Gary Woodland behind his face on the byline.

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Suggesting that someone might benefit from professional counseling is in no way the same as accusing that individual of having mental illness. Not sure how or why you made that leap.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

If we ever lament "what's society coming to"...then here's our opportunity to make a stand. Make a statement--set some enforceable standards. Reiterate what is and is not acceptable behavior by players and fans. The "gray" area here is fan behavior, hence all the discussion. Player behavior is a lot more defined/controlled already, and Smart is about to get his discipline.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm not so sure about the society coment, afterall this kind of thing has happened since the dawn of recorded athletics, i.e. ancient Greek Olympics and Roman Events.

Put yourself in that situation if it happened in AFH. If Smart landed near me in AFH in that exact situation, there is a high chance I might have said someting related to his flopping skills. That kind of remark probably would have irritated him but so what. His flopping, like the one called on Selden, irritates me and I'd take the opportunity to let him know my opinion on the matter.

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't know you personally, Suzi, but judging from your posts, you come across as a thoughtful, respectful human being who would probably be more inclined to tell Smart "Good hustle, kid" as you helped him off the floor rather than take a swipe at him.

It's a shame, too, because before he had a monumental brain fart and pushed "West Texas Weatherwax", he hustled down the court and prevented a game-clinching dunk. Just think if the TT kid had missed 1 or both Ft's, the 'Pokes would have had a decent opportunity to win or tie.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

That was a great play Smart made to get back to defend against the dunk and the game was still on the line. I no idea what I might have said in a similar situation. Regardless, had that happened under similar circumstances in AFH, I'm pretty sure alot of the fans in the area would have commented about Smart flopping. He was active with the act all through the game and the refs didn't give him much.

WOW!!! While commenting on Smart, I was watching the MSU-WI game....What a game!!!!! Let's play them all like that one....and the Duke-Syracuse game.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Suzi, you made my "society" point for me by bringing up ancient societies...but this isnt ancient Greeks/Romans and some gladiator-fest...this is a 2014 NCAA Div.1 game. We shouldnt use archane ancient-times analogies to support modern behavior. It was "OK" to use the "N" word in 1930's-50's to some people, because "it was the norm".

Also, your posts and analytical prowess are too advanced for me to take seriously that you personally would "taunt" Marcus Smart if he landed next to you...I think you are just playing devil's advocate here. Plus, that "taunt" of flopster wouldnt have even fit this play if Smart landed at your feet after a high-flying dunk block att. You dont seem like the petty fan-type either, so to bring up "flop" in such a bang-bang moment as flying out-of-bounds doesnt seem to fit your respected intellect. Smart recanted his flopping prior to this game, so it is a bygone anyway.

Me personally, I would help the kid up and say "good play, man", and actually applaud his effort.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

My point is that this kind of thing is part of human nature. It has been continuous from the ancients to know. In many respects, things have not changed much. The lessons from a read of Thucydidies History of the Peloponnesian Wars are as valid today as they have been for every generation since.

With regards to what I would have said to Smart, I certainly would have said something like "great hustle on the block,"

I can't help but reflecting upon counterfactual history with regards to Smart. I followed him his last two years in HS and wanted him at Kansas. I truely love his competitive spirit and leadership qualities. I can't help but think with Smart last year, we would have had a NC and Smart would have been a Kansas icon.

I feel for Smart but things like doing a back flip and flopping do not come without consequences. He comes off as on that can dish it out but can not take it.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

A lot of blame to go around here:

1) The fan, who allegedly fired off a racist slur. There's no place for that, period. If he's going to do that, he shouldn't be allowed to attend games.

2) Marcus Smart, who responded with the shove. No need to respond and roll in the mud with the pig. Be the bigger man. Now, with the Cowboys already struggling, they're likely going to be without him when they need him most.

3) The officials, who merely called a technical foul on Smart when he should have been ejected. Should have taken the opportunity to send a message that such behavior is not acceptable and reclaimed control of the game.

4) Travis Ford, for allowing a thuggish environment around the OSU program and not doing his part to keep his players in line, for not adequately preparing his players to face hostile crowds, and for not sending Smart to the locker room when the refs didn't eject him.

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone notice how Coach Ford looked completely lost and had no control over the situation? How he allowed Smart to rant and rave and point the finger at the ref and "West Texas Weatherwax" (instant classic, btw, HEM) without telling him to shut up and cool it, is beyond me. Can you imagine Self in that situation? I can. And my intuition tells me that he would have corralled Smart immediately and have him escorted to the showers.
Smart is responsible for his own actions, obviously, but when you play for a coach who has no control over his players, this type of behavior is more prone to happen. And I'm not excusing the fan AT ALL. I think, if it proves he used a racial slur, TTU needs to sack up and ban his ass forever. There is no place for that in sports. Ever. I, personally, don't think he used a slur. I think you would have seen some people react to him poorly if he had. But he obviously said something derogatory. Either way, his seat should be in front of the TV for the remainder of the season. What a loser.

Keith Richards 8 years, 6 months ago

Forget Smart. The fan that provoked Smart needs to be ban from all NCAA games. The man is a dirt ball.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

I live in Oklahoma, other than KU web sites I don't get to know as much about Jayhawk athletics as would like, but I hear most everything connected to OU and OSU. Before Sat OSU/TT game the OSU fan base was already wanting to send Ford down the road. It will be interesting this week to get OSU's take on the Smart/Orr incident. As for Smart, I have never heard anything negative about him that would indicate he has had an anger issue or personality problems. The biggest thing I hear from the media is that Ford no longer has control over his team. We will see what will happen as just a few years ago they gave him a contract ext. for 10 years.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

If OSU misses the NCAAs, Ford should be fired. He's not done much with the OSU program, and the underachieving season he's having with the talent he has at OSU, along with the discipline issues, should be grounds for dismissal.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 6 months ago

So, the fact Smart kicked chairs and went crazy on a Gatorade container wouldn't be negative? There's more than meets the eye. I agree Ford is on the hot seat, but I'm still not sold on Smart. Teams put band aids on internal issues all the time.

Steve Hillyer 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr, Keegan, Unless you know Mr. Smart you're making quite an assumption that he needs therapy. While I don't think what Smart did was wise, you never know how the situation may escalate or what a fan maybe carrying (especially in TX), before I criticize Smart too much I want to know what the fan said, I've never understood the thinking that if a fan buys a ticket it gives him/her license to say or do whatever he wants, somethings do cross the line. Also, all the people on here criticizing Smart and Ford, were you guys equally as critical of Roy Williams when he went out of his way to go a couple of rows in the stands behind the bucket at OU to confront a fan?

Todd Chapple 8 years, 6 months ago

The comment about KU tickets being $30 is laughable.....try again. The GA/nosebleeds aren't that much. Conference games are at least $100 a seat. The statement about bringing in a million per game might be underestimated.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

Briana, You didn't quite read that right or I wrote it wrong. There are thousands of bad fans in America and some of them are at KU. To say you haven't ever heard any bad fans, you are lucky, but with the noise you probably only heard the fans that are next to you. You are right, when anybody speeds they are breaking the law, but they were not caught. What I was saying is if Smart had not wound up out of bounds in front of Orr, he never would have been caught.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

Bryce, what the media is pointing out is that in 6 years he has only won 1 NCAA tournament game and the stands have not been filled up. If he fails to make the tournament and with his other problems he probably should be released. Like I said, it will be interesting listening to the OSU fans and talk shows this week.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Orr allegedly used the "N" word and also told Marcus Smart to go back to Africa. If this proves to be true, Mr. Orr needs to have his season tickets to all Texas Tech sporting events revoked because that is crossing the line of acceptable fan behavior. When you buy a ticket to an event, there are always rules and guidelines to follow (they may vary from facility to facility and event to event) and it's usually printed on the ticket or the PA guy goes over the ground rules during the pregame. This does not excuse Marcus Smart from what he did because he is a public figure and is held to a higher standard regardless of whether or not he wants to be. That said, if what Mr. Orr is alleged to have said is accurate, then a 1 game suspension is an appropriate punishment for Smart because he did cross a line as well. This is just an ugly situation for all parties involved. This makes the entire Tech fanbase look like a bunch of racist idiots when we know that's not true. Every school, including Kansas, has fans like this and unfortunately for Tech, one of theirs just so happens to be a high profile donor. This also makes OSU look bad because this incident is coming right off the heels of Stevie Clark being kicked off the team so now the impression the casual person will have of OSU is that their athletes are a bunch of idiots who do stupid stuff when that's not the case either. Again, every school has athletes that have done stupid stuff that has made their school a joke for a while. We have the two brawls between the football and basketball teams so even KU's not immune from it. This is just a bad situation all the way around and there will be no winners in the aftermath of this incident.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Yep, unfortunately ESPN just interviewed an OSU power forward from 1996-2000, who then played in the NBA x 10yrs. He said he got called the N word all four years his team went to Lubbock. That cant be all Jeff Orr. This keeps getting uglier for TxTech.

Jeff Cuttell 8 years, 6 months ago

In all of this, don't forget that Smart is 20 years old. There's a lot for him to learn still in dealing with people etc. In addition to that, many have confirmed that Jeff Orr said "Go back to Africa" to him.

The best thing for Smart to do would have been to let it go and keep playing. High energy, stress, youth, pressure etc played into him not doing that. He did push the guy, jump back on the court and then more emotions got to him.

I think Smart should be suspended for a game. Orr should lose his season tickets and not be allowed to sit courtside again.

Like Tom says, Smart should get help. He's going to need it. There's even more pressure at the next level and money issues to worry about. I just hope he has someone he can trust to watch out for that.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Marcus Smart has been suspended for 3 games. More than I would've suspended him for given the circumstances, but that's a fair punishment for his part. I don't know if Tech will make public what they do with Mr. Orr, but that's something I would like to know as well.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Orr has denied that he used a racist slur, instead saying that he called Smart a "piece of crap". Orr has decided not to attend anymore Tech games this year.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Something about Mr. Orr's story just doesn't add up. If all he said was that Smart was a "piece of crap" as he claims, then Smart needs to be suspended for the rest of the season. Also, if that was all Mr. Orr said, then why does he feel the need to "voluntarily" stop coming to Tech games this season? I'm going to go ahead and call BS on Mr. Orr because players hear worse than "piece of crap" every game and don't react. Mr. Orr may be telling a half truth with his piece of crap comment, but I believe the racial slur and the go back to Africa comment happened as well and that Texas Tech officials gave him this option as a way to try and save face as much as possible.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 6 months ago

Well I would say he isn't going to games anymore because of the situation. Perception is reality so maybe Tech asked him not to or he didn't want to be a distraction. Of course he could have said those words and feels bad. Don't think we should assume that because he isn't going to games, that its an omission of guilt. But it might be, just impossible to know right now.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Obviously I'm just speculating here, but I believe Texas Tech official gave Mr. Orr an ultimatum that either he publicly apologize and "voluntarily" not come to any more Tech games this year or if he chose not to that Tech would ban him for life.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Jeff Orr is an Petroleum Engr graduate of Texas Tech Univ., lost his job in the oil crash of the mid-80s, and eventually ended up working as an air-traffic-controller in Waco, TX. So he isnt some super-fan like Melvin Weathermax (retired FedEx guy), but an actual TxTech alumni. Man, I'd like to expect better from an actual college graduate, mature older man, but then guys like Jeff Orr are there to prove me wrong. Wow.

Robert Brown 8 years, 6 months ago

Statement from Jeff Orr.

"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. 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."

I now rarely attend pro sports because of fan behavior. Try going to an NFL game these days and listen to some of the hateful comments that are spewed. I don't see fan behavior getting better in the future. Athletics have to ignore this behavior.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Good post...but my point at the very beginning is at the heart of your phrase "athletics have to ignore this behavior"--> How about setting some enforceable standards for fan behavior? Why cant we strive to be better & more respectful? Not just at NCAA games, but even in the NFL games you mention? I can talk locker-room language with the best of 'em, but it is NOT the same when some fan is angrily yelling it at you as an insult. Even red-faced Bill Self giving an x-rated blast to his PG, is not yelling it as an insult. Ignoring vulgar fan behavior doesnt fix the problem. Correct the behavior.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Correcting unruly fan behavior is ultimately on the fans themselves. If a fan is being unruly in a way that is that Mr. Orr allegedly has been for awhile now or any other fan that gets too drunk, too vulgar, too whatever, a fan has the right to let security know and let security deal the fan who is out of line. I've been to sporting events where a fan was out of line with comments, and myself and others let that person know they were crossing a line and they toned it down. I've also seen it where the fan didn't tone it down and security ultimately removed the fan and his buddies that were with him apologized because they were embarrassed by what their buddy was yelling. If it's a problem that ever going to get fixed, then it's ultimately up to the fans to self police themselves and call each other out when that line is crossed.

Robert Brown 8 years, 6 months ago

By the way Tom Keegan, is this a record for most comments on an article since the new new identification policy was deployed?

Jack Joiner 8 years, 6 months ago

Both sides will pay the price. We all make mistakes in life regardless of our age. Time to learn from those mistakes and move on, we have all had to do it at one time or another.
By the way, it is my understanding the 3 games came down from the Big 12. Coach Ford really struggled with all this at the press conference.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 6 months ago

Video proves Orr said "You piece of crap." While obviously immature, it is hardly bad. I think 3 games is light but Orr's history might have helped Smart.

Joe Ross 8 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if any of you have ever attended a Jayhawk basketball game outside of Allen. In pre-game the student section gets fired up and hurl insults at our players the whole time during warm-ups, many of the comments being much worse than calling someone a "piece of crap". Once walking to my seat at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, NE, a group of students took notice of me as I was wearing a sweatshirt with a Jayhawk and insults rained down so profusely that security felt it necessary to give me a police escort until I made it by, and I never opened my mouth to say a word. My point is that this kind of thing goes on all the time in many gyms around the country, which makes Marcus' reaction surprising in my opinion. I'd use the word "astounding" except that I understand the disappointment of a season which is not living up to expectations vis-a-vis the possible angst he feels from foregoing his matriculation into the NBA. But surprising nonetheless.

Very few people, and least of all I, condone the fan's behavior in the stands. But Smart's behavior is criminal under Texas law, and the fan's--to whatever extent he behaved badly--certainly was not.

Ryan Zimmerman 8 years, 6 months ago

every time i watch the Smart replay, i can't stop laughing at that damn lady who points at Smart right after he shoves the guy. Like she's telling on him...

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