Texas Tech fans feel 'vindicated' by Smart apology - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech fans feel 'vindicated' by Smart apology

Texas Tech fans at Saturday's game Texas Tech fans at Saturday's game

It's been nearly two days since Oklahoma State Sophomore Marcus Smart pushed Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr.

Since the incident, both men have apologized and cooled down. Orr voluntarily agreed to stay away from Texas Tech games for the rest of the season and Smart was given a three-game ban by the Big 12

But Red Raider fans still have a lot to say.

"He probably should have kept his cool even though they were about to lose, but it's the NCAA's call," said Texas Tech Senior Chris Berger.

"You know we love our school, we love what we do. Sometimes things get a little edgy but I support Tech fans, best in the Big 12, no doubt," said Sophomore Mitchell Anderson.

Brian Hanni and Chris Level have been following the incident from the moment it happened. They are the voices of Texas Tech Basketball and the hosts of "Tech Talk" on Double T 104.3.

"We saw it on the review monitor," Hanni said. "Our view was initially obstructed by the basket structure, so watching it on the review monitor we knew instantaneously it was Jeff Orr because he's the most familiar face in the fan base."

They've heard from a lot of frustrated fans in the aftermath of Smart pushing Orr.

"A lot of fans we have calling in are saying how can ESPN or whoever continue to say these things," Level said. "They're going with an assumption because I've heard it several times... Well he must have said more than that. Well, I don't know how we prove it, but that's what is frustrating about the whole thing."

They say that after this weekend's apology, fans feel "vindicated." Hanni and Level say this kind of fan behavior happens everywhere.

"There are things said and yelled to coaches and to players in opposing arenas and none of it is right but that's just what happens," Level said. "I've had things yelled at me at Texas A&M and The University of New Mexico that I wouldn't even tell my wife as bad as it was."

"I was at a rival school's stadium and somebody keyed my car with a certain choice word and that school's name behind it over the top of the mascot logo," Hanni said, relating an experience from a different Big 12 school. "So this is not something that's unique to Texas Tech. Pac 12, SEC, ACC, Big 10 - you're going to have fans everywhere that say certain things."

Both men feel the punishments given to Smart and self-imposed by Orr are fair.

And they wanted to remind everyone, the first game Smart will play after returning from suspension is against Texas Tech at the Gallagher-Iba Arena on Feb. 22.

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