Marcus Smart could be in some trouble with the NCAA after the Oklahoma State star shoved a fan near the end of his team’s upset loss to Texas Tech.
The incident began when Smart tried to block Jaye Crockett’s dunk with just over six seconds left in the game. Smart lost his balance on the play and tumbled into the first row of the crowd. After one man helped Smart to his feet, the OSU player turned around and exchanged words with a middle-aged fan, then delivered a two-handed shove that knocked the man backward.
At this point Smart’s teammates pulled him back onto the court, but Smart continued to shout at the fan and pointed his at the man.
Referees called Marcus Smart for a technical foul, but he was allowed to remain in the game.
The unanimous selection to the preseason All-America team is now likely facing discipline from the Big 12. The league’s commissioner for basketball is already investigating the incident, even as others tried to make sense of what happened.
“I didn’t see it yet. I want to make sure I see it and see what happened,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said after the game. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith seemed to have a bit of sympathy for Marcus Smart, saying he got caught up in the moment.
“You really have to find the film to see what happened,” he said. “I assume the officials saw what happened. That’s why he got a technical out of it. The frustration when you’re losing sometimes on a losing streak, I’ve been there before, it can be tough. I’m sure he regrets doing that, whatever he did, so things like that happen in the heat of the battle.”
ESPN analyst Andy Katz said he believes the Big 12 will act quickly on the matter. He said Smart could receive punishment ranging from a private reprimand to a suspension.
The fan shoved by Marcus Smart was identified as Jeff Orr, a Texas Tech fan who travels hundreds of miles each year to attend games.