LUBBOCK, TX -- On Monday, Oklahoma State Men's Basketball player Marcus Smart formally apologized for pushing a Texas Tech fan during Saturday night's game.
In a press conference, Smart said that he "let his emotions get the best of him," and that this was a lesson he "would have to learn from."
It's also a lesson that the Federation of Christian Athletes hopes their students can learn from, too...
"It just gives me an incident to point to," says FCA's regional director, Terry Kinard. "Because we are always talking to our young athletes that [they need to] realize that you represent a lot more people than just your family, than just your school than just your team. That, because you are an athlete, you are looked up to, and you have influence."
Kinard and hundreds of FCA athletes were there to witness the Marcus Smart-Jeff Orr confrontation first hand.
"We had over 600 kids come to FCA game day," he says. "In this particular case, even the Tech fan has to realize 'Well, I represent Texas Tech, I represent Lubbock, I represent Texas and the Big 12.'"
Marc Lochbaum is a sports psychologist who spent two years traveling with the Tech team. He says Saturday night's debacle highlights a big problem that has permeated the world of college sports.
"I think the average person doesn't understand how many names those guys are called," he says. "Fans are ruthless, there's no question. Whether it's Tech fans or other fans, I've never been called more names in my life. And I'm just sitting on the bench as a sports psychologist!"
While most can agree Smart's actions were out of line, Lochbaum says he shouldn't be the only one at blame.
"It's easy to see Marcus Smart as the villain, as an awful guy, who has no self control," according to Lochbaum. "But, he probably has a lot of self control, because my experiences are people are called vicious names all the time, every game."
Smart is currently under a three game suspension. His first game back will be, fittingly enough, against Tech in Oklahoma.
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