OK State's Smart suspended 3 games for shoving fan
FEB 09, 2014 5:58p ET
"I let my emotions get the best of me," Smart said at a Sunday press conference after apologizing to Orr by name. "The consequences that are coming with it, I'm taking full responsibility. No fingers are being pointed. This is all upon me."
Smart committed a foul and fell into the first few rows of the stands before turning around and confronting Orr before shoving him. Several outlets reported that Smart had been targeted by racially insensitive language, but in a statement, Orr denied that claim, stating that he called Smart a "piece of crap." Orr agreed not to attend any Texas Tech games, home or away, for the rest of the season.
"My actions last night were inappropriate and do not reflect myself or Texas Tech," Orr said. "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."
Texas Tech released a new video of the incident on Sunday afternoon that appears to pick up audio of Orr's comments.
"Texas Tech interviewed Mr. Orr along with numerous fans, photographers and arena personnel that were seated in the area surrounding him," the university said in a statement. "Mr. Orr vehemently denied the accusation that he used a racial slur and no one in the vicinity of Mr. Orr heard such a slur."
The decision to suspend Smart three games was reached after a joint discussion between Oklahoma State and the Big 12.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is in Sochi, Russia, fulfilling duties as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, but released a statement on Sunday.
"Mr. Smart’s actions were a clear violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy," he said. "Such behavior has no place in athletics, and will not be tolerated," he said. "I appreciate the efforts of Oklahoma State University athletics director Mike Holder in addressing this matter, and believe this is an appropriate response to an inappropriate action."
Smart will miss Oklahoma State's games at Texas on Tuesday, at home against Oklahoma on Saturday and at Baylor on Feb. 17. He will make his return on Feb. 22 at home against Texas Tech.
"I know Marcus Smart’s heart, I know how he’s hurting," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "I know how regretful he is right now."
Ford pleaded with Oklahoma State fans to accept Smart's apology.
"When he comes back, ready to go, he’s going to gain everybody’s trust who he lost. He’s going to try and prove himself every day," Ford said. "Marcus has my full support. Unwavering support, because I do know his heart and I know how he’s feeling right now."