Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart has been suspended for three games by the NCAA after storming off the court to confront a fan that was yelling racist remarks towards him.
Oklahoma State played Texas Tech on Saturday night in a regular season game. Near the end of the game Oklahoma point guard Smart who is a highly rated pick for next years draft attacked a fan after the fan made racist remarks to him.
The emotion involved in college basketball and the pressure the players are going through has left a divide on whether the NCAA took the right stance on the incident.
“The NCAA did a great job. Collegiate basketball is a game of emotion. Emotions are always flying high. Now, that does not justify what Smart did, but it is good the NCAA realizes he is just a kid who made a mistake when he was caught up in the emotions, or heat of the game per say. Smart was also wise to apologize and accept his three-game suspension,” says Nick Raponi, 20, a reporter for Ryerson University who covers NCAA basketball.
What is leaving people divided over the decision with Smart is the man who made the remarks is a repeat offender. Smart is part of one of the best draft classes in recent years that includes Canadian Andrew Wiggins and Duke superstar Jabari Parker. This incident may drop Smart lower in the draft.
“Marcus Smart didn’t do anything wrong. Emotions run high on the court and he is still a kid. Having an older man allegedly say a racist remark would drive most athletes over the edge. The fan should be banned for life and Texas Tech should be penalized. Marcus shouldn’t worry about the incident affecting his draft position,” says Niko Moniz, 22, the coach of the rep basketball team in Georgina, Ont.
Rude remarks and smack talk between players is common in basketball but it is a different situation when the fans intervene.
“It is stupid, why do people have to sink to that level? If it was anther player it wouldn’t of been as bad because I can just make a great play and it’s done with but for a fan to say that makes it much worse and I understand why Smart flipped out,” says Graham Lovelace, 18, who plays competitive basketball in Georgina.