Oklahoma State basketball: Marcus Smart's shove seen round the world has schools emphasizing fan behavior

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart is not the only one ready to press the reset button. Others are pausing, looking in the mirror and reflecting on their behavior.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 21, 2014

Marcus Smart returns.

Oklahoma State resets.

That's the plan anyway. Starting Saturday afternoon against Texas Tech, the Cowboys have two weeks to save their basketball season. Break this losing streak that started long before Smart got suspended, win at least four of five games, and they have a great chance of getting into the NCAA Tournament.

And if they get there, who knows? Anything can happen.

But the Cowboys aren't the only ones hitting the reset button. The incident at Texas Tech that started with a fan making an unseemly comment and ended with the shove seen round the world has given everyone reason to pause, look in the mirror and reflect on their behavior.

Good has come from the bad.

Because what happened that night in Lubbock was bad. What Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr said to Smart. What Smart did to Orr. All of it turned your stomach.

Orr has said that he called Smart a “piece of crap”. Whether that's what Orr actually said, I have no idea. I've watched the videos that are floating around the Internet, and I can't make out anything. But even if that was the totality of what he said, that's still ugly.

A 52-year-old man telling a 19-year-old college student that he's a piece of crap?

Orr is an air traffic controller who presumably holds thousands of lives in his hands every time he goes to work. He doesn't have to act at basketball games like he acts in the control tower, but surely he now understands why it's unseemly for him to have said what he did.

Maybe others are realizing the same thing about the way that they act at games.

Fan behavior is being emphasized. Schools are being proactive. We've seen it around the Big 12 and even in other parts of the country.

The Wednesday after the Smart incident, officials calling Memphis-Central Florida ejected a fan sitting in some nice seats but saying some not-so-nice things. Romeo Khazen is a Memphis megabooster, a casino bigwig, and apparently, he didn't like the way UCF was clogging the lane and let the officials know about it.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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