A Need for Better Crowd Control

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Texas Tech “Super Fan” Jeff Orr has a history of harassing opposing players.

Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart, wasn’t smart, when he shoved a fan in the late seconds of an emotional loss at Texas Tech. The three game punishment handed to him by the Big 12 conference is fair enough to deter another player from committing a similar act in the future. In the same vein, if what Smart claims Texas Tech super fan Jeff Orr said to him is indeed true, he should be punished too—Orr has since volunteered to not attend any more Texas Tech games the rest of the season. He should be punished in such a way, that changes fans behavior.

I’m not buying Mr. Orr’s statement that he only called Smart a “piece of crap.” I’m sure Marcus Smart has been called worse before and wouldn’t have reacted the way he did over being called a piece of crap. But I wasn’t there to hear it, so I’ll take both parties involved at their word. But, here in lies the problem with fan behavior. The things they do say, have said in the past, has been so vulgar and venomous, that this is the perfect time to use this situation to clean it up. Unacceptable fan behavior is out of control—whether it’s shouting obscenities and racial epithets at players or physically attacking opposing fans—and needs to be put back in its proper place.

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Let’s not all forget, these are games. Between the lines, it’s about healthy competition. The purpose is to have fun, the object is to win. Spectators should have the same mindset and act accordingly. Just because a fan spends their hard earned money for tickets, doesn’t mean they can say anything they want to opposing players. You can cheer for your team without degrading your opponent.

The NCAA and Conferences should hold their fans to the same standards as their Student Athletes. It should be the responsibility of each athletic director to protect visiting student athletes and coaches by any measure to protect the integrity of the game and their institution. The opposing teams shouldn’t be left as if they’re wandering alone in a wilderness.

Marcus Smart has apologized and will have to work diligently to wash away the stain of this incident, but so should Texas Tech for allowing this FAN-attic to verbally abuse visiting student athletes for all these years. Even though Mr. Orr has volunteered to remove himself from future Red Raider basketball games, Texas Tech should and needs to step up and punish him. Because fair or not, Mr. Orr’s antics are viewed around the country as the norm for Texas Tech fans, much in the way Smart’s reaction will be viewed as an indictment on his character. Texas Tech’s future action towards their “Super Fan” will go along way to change and raise the standard of fan behavior in sporting venues across America.

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