STILLWATER, Okla. — Marcus Smart was quiet and subdued as he apologized at a podium, a demeanor in stark contrast to the one that sent shockwaves through Oklahoma State’s basketball program hours earlier.
Smart was suspended three games Sunday by the Big 12 for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night. The conference acted swiftly in banning the All-America guard, saying in a statement the penalty was handed down for “inappropriate conduct with a spectator.”
Smart apologized to the fan, his teammates and his family for his role in the altercation before coach Travis Ford expressed support for the sophomore without dismissing the severity of his actions.
“This is not how I conduct myself,” said Smart, a top NBA prospect. “This is not how the program is run. This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me. It’s something I’ll have to learn from, a lesson I’ll have to learn from. The consequences that are coming with it — I’m taking full responsibility. No fingers pointing — this is all upon me.”
Late in Saturday night’s game at Lubbock, Texas, Smart tumbled out of bounds behind the basket after trying to block a shot. He was helped to his feet and then shoved Jeff Orr with two hands after it appeared the Red Raiders fan said something to him. Teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back and shouted in Orr’s direction.
Smart will miss games against Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor. He can return for a Feb. 22 home game against Texas Tech. But Ford said Smart will be allowed to practice.
“These guys mean a lot to me, and for me not to be able to be out there with them — it hits me in my heart,” Smart said.