How Marcus Smart Changed College Basketball

Sean Powers ’15

The score was 63-61 and Texas Tech was on the verge of an upset. Oklahoma State had the ball with 12 seconds left with a chance at the last shot until Texas Tech stole the ball. The Red Raiders were suddenly on a fast break going the other way. Point Guard Marcus Smart sprinted in and fouled forward Jave Crockett. The foul was clean but the momentum sent Smart into the crowd. Smart landed facing the court but a fan in the front row shouted something at Smart. Although it is not known for sure what was said, the remark set off Smart. Seconds later he was in the fans face yelling back and he pushed the fan in the chest before storming back onto the court. Smart was given a technical and Oklahoma State lost the game 65-61. Smart received a lot of criticism for this action (as he rightfully should have) and his actions led to him receiving a 3 game suspension. Smart could give a dozen reasons why he did it like the fact that Oklahoma State was on a 3 game losing streak and on the brink of losing their 4th straight. He could have also argued he was in the moment of the game or what was said to him was so derogatory that he believed his actions were the best choice. No matter what his reasoning was when he pushed the fan, a suspension was the right punishment, but his actions are going to change college basketball.

According to the Big 12 conference, college officials have no control over the fans at the game, although referees have thrown fans out numerous times. The fact is that what happened last Saturday will lead to changes. First of all I believe that conferences will officially be able to throw out fans from an arena. This is also going to change how coaches coach their players when going into away games. Players have always been taught not to let the crowd get into your head, but usually that has been implied rather than said to players. With this incident now happening, other players can learn from Smart. Acting on your emotions is usually a never smart thing to do (no pun intended) because usually the action is not thought out. Reacting to the extent that Smart did will not do you any good. Most likely a suspension will come and most likely nothing will happen to the fan because the fans are not held under to the same standards.

Smart sat through his three games that he was suspended for and his Oklahoma State Cowboys are 0-3. Smart feels bad about the way he acted and publicly apologized for his actions, but he can never take back what he did and now his actions are going to go down in college basketball history.

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