MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — Long before Marcus Smart pushed a Texas Tech fan two rows deep in the bleachers, and pushed the NCAA to clarify its rule on such altercations, Big 12 coordinator of officials Curtis Shaw feared fan behavior had grown too unruly.

“It has gotten drastically worse,” Shaw told the “Statewide Sportsline” crew Wednesday night.

Hours before Shaw’s guest appearance, the NCAA clarified a gray area by noting that players who enter the stands to interact with fans must be assessed a flagrant 2 foul, leading to an automatic ejection.

That’s fine, yet Shaw wants verbally abusive fans to be tossed also.

“We’ve pushed the boundary of what’s athletics and sports and fanaticism into absolute idiocracy,” Shaw said. “You all of a sudden have 30- or 40- or 50-year-old people sitting in close proximity to the court who think they can say or do anything they want to an 18- or 19-year-old kid.”

Before Shaw stopped working as on-the-court official in 2010, he confronted fans who thought buying a ticket provided them carte blanche to fire slurs at players and referees. Shaw claimed that once, while setting up an in-bounds play at Oklahoma State, he was shoved in the back by a fan who was ticked at a call.

If the NCAA sets a stricter policy on fan etiquette, as Shaw advocates, he said schools would have a fallback for telling high-dollar donors to clean up their act.

“Go cheer, go be a fan for your team and boo when a referee makes a mistake—hey, that’s part of the game,”  Shaw said. “But the personal insults and some of the things that are said directly to you are intolerable.”

Midway through the first season of cracking down on defensive contact, Shaw said said the rule changes essentially are working and “we’re seeing a more free-flowing game.”

The biggest strides have been made in negating perimeter contact, Shaw said, allowing players like West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten to excel.

“Everything that he has been able to do, I think in a way, you an attribute to the rules,” Shaw said. “If we allowed the physical play that had been allowed over the last five to eight years, he may not be as effective because he relies on that speed and athleticism and not just brute strength.

“Under the old rules he was allowed to be held, bumped and pushed more and more off the ball. He’s a perfect example of how the new rules have helped the game.”

With scoring up by more than four points per team and fouls only having increased by about 1.5 per team, Shaw said players have adjusted to playing more hands-free defense.

Yet he admitted the block/charge call remains a mess. Part of that complexity comes from a defender having a different benchmark for being in legal position based on whether or not the offensive player leaves the floor.

“It’s still a very difficult play,” said Shaw, suggesting more tweaks are necessary to simplify the block/charge wording. “As a referee, there’s about four to five different aspects on every split-second block/charge call that I’ve got to try to sort through, and I’m not sure you can do it.”

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  • Stephen

    It would be interesting to see how well some of you that are critical of officials would do in the same position. I would say that you would miss calls as well. So think before you speak. As for ejecting fans for inappropriate behavior, I'd say it has been a long time coming. Why are you entitled to shout obscenities at people only because they are playing a sport that you choose to attend? Your ticket doesn't allow you the right to harass people excessively. How would you feel if someone did this to you at your workplace? There is a fine line between being a fan and harassment. I have a 6 year old daughter that enjoys going to basketball games and other sporting events, but if this starts to be a problem she will not be attending these events anymore and I am sure that I am not alone in that stance, and I am also sure that the Big XII, NCAA and others who profit off these events would not want that either.

  • Mark

    Fine. Just as long as we can boot out the cheating Big12 officials who manipulate the outcome of games.

  • mad hatter

    i think they should also crack down on the seats we have to set in... each seat should be like a lazy boy, and have a small tv, doesn't have to be a big one,, so we can check in on other games when our game is in time out...and there should be fully clad ladies bringing us beer and pretzels as we need them, throughout the game.
    Right now, i can't think of anything else to crack down on, that kinda sounds vulgar in itself.

  • mad hatter

    i think they should crackdown on cheerleaders wearing skimpy outfits... i mean they do vulgar dances and twist and turn and flit,, i mean , my goodness,,, i can't bring my son and daughter to the games because women a flaunting sex all over the arena.
    Let's clean this up , make those ladies wear loose fitting sweat pants and sweat shirts, and they walk out yell something and then go back into the shadows...

  • Barry

    I think that they should crack down on Foul Mouthed coaches too. I am sick and tired of seeing and hearing the F-word from some of these coaches. And, if I were a ref I would call a technical foul as soon as some of these spoiled coaches got an attitude.

  • just me

    Who is going to do the throwing out.The officials can't handle calling the games they don't need anymore responsibility. Three officials missed Noreen getting kicked how are they going to know who in the stands is saying, what?

    • mad hatter

      i certainly hope that mr. shaw was shown the clip where noreen was getting kicked in the gut, and 3 officials were so blind they couldnt see it ,,,,, and this , if called , would have insured that the other incident wouldn't have happened...
      Mr. Shaw, what's your reply. I noticed that the big 12 did nothing more to harris,,,, i wonder why,,, maybe because the big 12 would find themselves responsible.

  • james

    “You all of a sudden have 30- or 40- or 50-year-old people sitting in close proximity to the court who think they can say or do anything they want to an 18- or 19-year-old kid.”

    You have 18 or 19 year olds who are police officers and soldiers who are expected to retain their reations and act appropriately to situations a lot more violatle than than a 50 year old man telling them they are worthless.

    The law is wll settled that mere words do not jsutify an assalut.

    Instruction No. 4 tells the jury in effect that mere words, however "insulting or opprobrious" they may be, will neither justify or excuse, the person to whom such words are addressed, to commit even an assault upon the person using such words,…. State v. White, 81 W. Va. 516, 94 S.E. 972 (1918)

    This was a pampered athelete that has not had to face the consequences of his actions and thinks he can do what a wants, a pandemic problem in college sports bleeding into professional sports. The real problem is lack of discipline and repsect by the athelets, not fans shouting at a game. If the heat is too hot in the kitchen, the maybe Marcus Smart should be escorted out.

    • mad hatter

      ur right,,, mainly , if you have watched ok st much this yr, you can't help but realize that smart in a punk and a thug. He is a spoiled immature brat for his age,,,
      What he needs is about four yrs in the military, and learn a little discipline and self control and bunches of maturity.

      • mad hatter

        btw, this was heckle vs jeckle 69 gay st 342s / 498 va

  • Shadow

    Shaw is 100% right in getting rid of unruly fans, they contribute nothing to the game and make those around them uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because most of the crowd is mannerly. The TT fan that called Smart "a piece of crap" was, and is, a blatant coward who uses the First Amendment as a cover for his hatred. He didn't need a shove, he needed a fist to the month. Thankfully, Mr. Smart was too mannerly to give him what he deserved.

    • nashville cat

      shaw is absolutely wrong in throwing out unruly fans,,, i hate conformists,, i like someone who stands up and is counted as anti social,, anti establishment, and is forced into a cookie cutter mold.
      Smart is a piece of crap, he's a thug,, he thinks he's above the crowd, better than the crowd,,,
      Smart should have been disqualified for the rest of the season and tourn. time... You don't go into the crowd and assault an elderly man ,, and i think this may have racist implications.. This needs a study comm. to understand why this black man, who could have been obama, attacked the elderly white man.

      • Shadow

        Where you watching the game? He didn't go into the crowd to get the guy. He went into the sidelines as a part of the play where he was verbally abused when he was getting to his feet. Smart is an achiever which is shown by his effort, the name caller is a loser and his actions were a detrimental to "the school I love".....

        • mad hatter

          smart is a punk, thug who can't control his temper ,as he has demonstrated on other occasions.. Just watch him during the game,, whiner , baby, wet nosed kid..

          if anything , al sharpton should be called into this as a young ,physical, strong black man attacked an elderly , out of shape whiteman,,, the black man could have been obama's son.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    What I observed from Smart when we played them was some temper that he looked like he could hardly contain. Eg. kicking chair, gone behind the bleachers trying to cool down.
    Looking at his build the question comes to mind about steroids. One of the symptoms - hard to control temper.

    • nashville cat

      agree.. he just maybe a user..

  • justin

    here is my question: how do you get offended if someone calls you a piece of crap? i can understand getting upset over a racial slur but not being called a piece of crap.. i think marcus smart has issues and has trouble dealing with them.

    • nashville cat

      especially when you are a piece of crap, imo

  • mad hatter

    sounds like an obama article... let's pamper them, wipe their nose, give them a cell phone, punish the achievers for achieving,hold his hand, and tell him the govt will make everything all right.

    get a life,, life is cruel, not fair, punishes you for nothing, but,,, the art of life, is each time i feel myself flat on myself, i pick myself up and get back in the race.
    i am so sick of the pansy this obama culture has created,, sucks,,, be strong my friend, you'll hear worse than , full of crap, in your lifetime,,,

    • justin

      mad hater

      • nashville cat

        two t's

  • william

    How about the coach?
    Then Bob "SWEATSUIT" Huggins should be kicked out of almost every game!
    What about what he said to that referee last year? and that was OK
    Rules only apply to certain people -
    Then this reporter should start reporting on WHAT COMES OUT OF HUGGINS MOUTH -
    Or do reporters cover things up for coaches like Huggins?

    • justin

      haha,, william the tool is back!

  • Charleston

    Mr. Shaw's remark, in regard to fan behavior, were best summed up with the 8th sentence. The Big XII's efforts are trying to curtail fan behavior to prevent a Ron Artest, aka " World Peace" event. I'm all for Zero Tolerance.

    • mad hatter

      take your zero tolerance and shove it,,,every once in a while life gives us a Smart, who feels entitled,, but he isn't,,, just move on,, i've heard worse than that in classrooms,,, once he's out in the real world, not the sheltered college life, he'll grow up fast, and develop a thick skin,,, or,,, parish

  • william

    The problem is not the fan! -
    Wake up - Put the blame were is should go - THE PLAYER!
    And they are not KIDS, they are grown MEN!

  • mad hatter

    smart is a thug, he should have been disqualified for the entire season,, he got off easy.