Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart was caught on camera shoving a Texas Tech fan Saturday night, late in a loss to the Red Raiders. The fan was quickly identified as Jeff Orr, as he is no stranger to buffoonish behavior from his seat along the baseline. However, there was controversy over what was actually said that caused Smart to lash out. Early reports stated that Smart had claimed the fan had dropped an n-bomb. There was no audio to support Smart’s claim, so it was impossible to confirm its veracity.
Orr communicated with media members that he never used a racial slur, but that didn’t stop the Internet from running wild with theories on what was actually said (note: we also mentioned the early reports of Orr using the n-word, but never stated it as fact). Today, Orr released a statement on what he actually said:
“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.”
A GoPro camera positioned along the baseline picked up audio of the altercation, and appears to back up Orr’s claim that he uttered those words (or, at least someone did). Regardless of who actually said what, or if there’s more to this than what we’re seeing, Orr has also volunteered to not attend the remainder of Texas Tech’s games this season — both home and away. Smart has been suspended for three games following the incident.