LUBBOCK, Texas – While Marcus Smart is paying the price for an outburst during last Saturday’s game against Texas Tech, fans on both sides of the court are not surprised Smart pushed Texas Tech superfan Jeff Orr.
For much of the game, Smart was able to tune out the crowd.
However, it can be hard to get past Orr.
Col. Joe Rankin, an OSU alum, said, “I’ll never forget the guy.”
Rankin recognized Orr because he sat next to him at a baseball tournament.
Rankin said, “He kept yelling over and over again, ‘Don’t throw the ball in the dirt. Whatever you do, don’t throw it in the dirt, dumb***.”
This time, Orr is accused of calling Smart a racial slur.
However, Orr only admits to calling the college sophomore a “piece of crap.”
Viri Diaz, an alum from Texas Tech, said, “It wasn’t surprising at all.”
Orr is known as a Texas Tech superfan.
In fact, the university even made a video promoting his presence at sporting events.
Orr said, “A lot of places I’ve been, it’s been just me and a handful of Tech fans on the road in hostile environments.”
Diaz admits, Orr is notorious for bringing the hostility.
She said, “Without a doubt. The gestures he makes, you can obviously tell he’s heckling the players.”
Gestures that have been caught on camera before.
She said, “It was just a matter of time. It really was.”
Rankin said, “He’s not a superfan. To me, he’s a super jerk.”
Despite the criticism surrounding Orr, Smart said at a press conference that he is to blame.
Smart said, “This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me.”
OSU suspended the player for three games.
His first game back will be against Texas Tech but Orr says he won’t be there.
Orr released this statement:
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies to Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech men’s basketball program. My actions last night were inappropriate and do not reflect myself or Texas Tech – a university I love dearly. 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 also released a statement saying,
“In conjunction with a review of the actions of Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart by the Big 12 Conference, Texas Tech has completed its own thorough investigation regarding the incident at last night’s basketball game involving Red Raider fan Jeff Orr. Texas Tech interviewed Mr. Orr along with numerous fans, photographers and arena personnel that were seated in the area surrounding him. 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. Mr. Orr has admitted to directing an inappropriate phrase toward Marcus Smart. Texas Tech has been able to verify that statement independently through video provided by Texas Tech Sports Broadcasting. At no point on the film can a racial slur be heard. Texas Tech is committed to sportsmanship and expects fans to abide by the rules set forth by the Big 12 Conference and the university. Comments such as those used by Mr. Orr are unacceptable and not condoned by Texas Tech University. As a result of this incident, Mr. Orr has voluntarily agreed to not attend a Texas Tech home or away basketball game for the remainder of the season.”