The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local Sports

February 10, 2014

A quick look at the Smart incident

Medina Journal-Register — This past Saturday I went to sleep after hanging up some laundry and watching most of “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.” I’d seen the movie before, and I came away impressed.

When I woke up Sunday, I did my usual: made coffee and checked to see if there was anything worthwhile on Facebook or elsewhere online. Sure enough, a college classmate of mine who works for ESPN had attended the basketball game in Lubbock, Tex. in which Oklahoma State University visited Texas Tech.

In that game, OSU star Marcus Smart had an altercation with a Texas Tech “super fan” named Jeff Orr. Oh, and Orr is white. Smart is not.

While driving my kids to Sunday School, sure enough, “breaking sports news” said that Smart accused the fan of hurling a racial epithet in his direction.

Later Sunday, former OSU players took to Twitter and said they remembered Orr from their days on the court and backed up Smart’s claim as something the could have validity.

However, as of this writing, here’s what I actually know about the whole scenario: OSU was losing in the closing seconds but Smart refused to go quietly and, rushing back to defend what would have been a sure basket, his momentum almost carried him into the stands. He landed among the courtside photographers and was being helped up when the replay shows his attention was diverted by a fan behind him. At that point, the replay showed Smart turning around to shove the fan. 

Now, any university that has “super fans” needs to tread carefully with them. As soon as a fan feels like more than a fan, it can be dangerous. Fans are entitled to cheer and boo since they pay good money for the chance to watch a game. But there are certain lines that should not be crossed. 

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