It’s been a rough week for No. 19 Oklahoma State, and Cowboys star Marcus Smart couldn’t hold back his frustration in the final minute of a 65-61 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday night.
After committing a hard foul and tumbling into the first row of the stands, Smart shoved a Red Raiders fan who apparently said something to anger him.
There appear to be conflicting accounts of what the fan said, with Oklahoma State radio color commentator John Holcomb among those courtside who say Smart told coaches that the fan called him the N-word.
Radio analyst John Holcomb confirms what he said on air: He heard Marcus Smart say the fan called him the n-word.
Smart received a technical foul but was not ejected because Big 12 officials don’t have the authority to do so if a player gets involved with a fan.
"There is no precedent for that," Big 12 coordinator of officials Curtis Shaw told ESPN. "Our rules are for flagrant 1 or 2. We don’t have grounds for dealing with a fan. We don’t have a rule to get involved when the player is involved with a fan. We don’t know what was said. The official, Doug Sirmons, didn’t know what was said."
Neither coach got a clear look at what happened.
"I didn’t see it yet. I want to make sure I see it and see what happened," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said following the loss. "I’m still trying to figure it out."
Smart could face suspension and it comes at a bad time for the Cowboys, who are on a four-game losing skid.
"You really have to find the film to see what happened," Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith 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."