Brandon Tierney feels that Marcus Smart’s three-game suspension – which the Oklahoma State sophomore received for shoving Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr on Saturday night – was woefully lenient.
“It’s such uncharted waters in college basketball,” CBS analyst Wally Szczerbiak said on The Morning Show. “I was expecting more. I really was. But you got to remember these are kids. The only basis I have, really – and I was a part of it – (was) when Ron Artest went up into the stands and that whole brawl came about (in 2004). Now, granted, that was much worse and on a much bigger scale, but who am I to really judge? Marcus Smart just got caught up in am emotional situation. Three games is a lot. That’s going to be very detrimental to the Oklahoma State Cowboys not having him for those three games. So, that’s the basis of the decision they came to. Hopefully this sends the message that this can never happen again – because it really can’t.”
But does three games really send that message? Tierney doesn’t think so.
“Yeah, I hear you,” Szczerbiak said. “Again, I was a player, so I’ve been caught up in those type of situations, and whatever the punishment (is), you’re going to deal with it. I thought it was going to be more, I got to be honest. But that’s the decision they came to. Hopefully Marcus Smart learns his lesson that he can’t do that, and hopefully the players realize that’s something that you cannot do. And you just go from there.”
Smart finished with 22 points, four rebounds and two assists in the Cowboys’ 65-61 loss to the Red Raiders. Oklahoma State (16-7, 4-6), which has lost four straight games, will be without Smart when it plays at No. 19 Texas (Feb. 11), against Oklahoma (Feb. 15), and at Baylor (Feb. 17).
Regardless of what was said, Szczerbiak felt it was wrong for Smart to react the way he did.
“I’ve been a part of arenas where fans are pretty brutal; there’s no secret they say some pretty bad stuff, and no matter what they say, you can’t react that way,” Szczerbiak said. “This was just a special situation where he happened to spill into the crowd after he committed a foul. And when those lines are breached, you would hope that nothing like this ever happens again. I know the NBA’s worst nightmare is if any type of altercation spills into the crowd – because then you have lawsuit (possibilities) and you have a whole other can of worms that can open up. So you got to learn from this situation.
“Again, I agree with you,” Szczerbiak continued. “Three games, to me, was not enough, but I’m not the guy making the decision. I’m not the athletic director, I’m not the Big 12, I’m not the NCAA. So it’s not my jurisdiction to make that decision. They came up with that decision, we have to live with it, Marcus Smart has to live with it. I think he got off easy, personally, but at the same time, it was their decision to make.”