Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart said it’s never acceptable for a player to react the way Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart did when he shoved a Texas Tech fan on Saturday.

But the Rams’ coach also said the NCAA, conferences and schools should better protect players by ejecting and banning fans who spew abuse that includes inappropriate or highly charged comments.
“There’s a problem in that fans believe they can say anything they want simply because they buy a ticket,” he said.

“The NCAA, conferences and schools all have the generic sportsmanship disclaimer which says we do not tolerate sexist, racist, homophobic, whatever it is (comments). … If that’s the case, then those individuals who are making those comments should be removed from the game and should be barred to coming to future games for life. If you don’t tolerate something, then you don’t look the other way.”

Marcus Smart landed in the crowd along the baseline after trying to block a shot and being called for a foul in the waning moments of Oklahoma State’s 65-61 loss at Texas Tech.

Red Raiders fan Jeff Orr said he called Smart “a piece of crap,” according to reports, but denied using a racial slur. Smart, a top NBA prospect, went after Orr and shoved him.

Texas Tech said in a statement that witnesses in the area did not hear a racial slur, and that at no point can a slur be heard on video provided by Texas Tech Sports Broadcasting.