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Okla State to address Smart confrontation with fan

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm •  Published: February 9, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma State will hold a news conference Sunday in Stillwater with Marcus Smart, coach Travis Ford and athletic director Mike Holder to address Smart's confrontation with a fan at Texas Tech.

Late in Saturday night's game at Lubbock, Texas, Smart confronted a Red Raiders fan in the stands after it appeared the fan said something to the All-America guard. Smart shoved Tech fan Jeff Orr with two hands, and teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back in Orr's direction. Smart was issued a technical foul and did not play the final seconds of the game.

A decision on whether Smart will be punished is expected to come Sunday.

Texas Tech said earlier Sunday it is investigating the incident, trying to speak with people who were in the area of the altercation to find out what was said to Smart.

"We are conducting a very thorough investigation, trying to collect everything we can," Texas Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said Sunday. "We are in conversations with Mr. Orr."

There is no fan-behavior guidelines printed on Texas Tech basketball tickets, Beal said, but the school follows the Big 12's sportsmanship policy. Before each game the public address announcer reads a few sentences about sportsmanship that includes that inappropriate fan behavior will not be tolerated.

"It's read literally at every game," Beal said.

Section 12.2.1 is titled Institutional Responsibility: "The Big 12 member institutions have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all university employees, students, and others in attendance at athletics events conduct themselves in a dignified manner and exhibit respect and courtesy towards game officials, other institutions and their employees, students (including student-athletes) and fans."

Orr did not immediately return a call Sunday seeking comment.

Knicks forward Metta World Peace, who was in Oklahoma on Sunday to play the Thunder, says Smart can learn from the fallout that will come from the incident.

If anyone would know, it's the player formerly known as Ron Artest.

In 2004, Artest infamously ran into the stands and attacked a Detroit Pistons fan who he thought threw a beer on him. Artest was suspended for 73 regular-season games and the playoffs before being traded the next season.

World Peace said Smart — who is projected to be a high NBA draft pick — might benefit from learning how to deal with obnoxious fans at age 19, before he becomes a pro and millions of dollars are on the line.

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