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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  • Mountainman

    Throw them out..... as was demonstrated with Marcus Smart's PROGRESSIVE behavior, the same will hold true for fans..... just as the coin throwing and pissbag tosses have demonstrated in Morgantown.

    • scott

      Its the refs "CONSERVATIVE" approach to blowing the whistle that should be called out. How many kicks to the stomach you gonna let slide this week Mr Shaw. I used to laugh at Big East officials but I now miss them terribly.

      see im clever too there hillboy!!!!!

  • Jim

    It is the bad officiating that Mr Shaw needs to focus on, they are the cause of most of the angry fans and players, the Big 12 officials are the worst in the nation.

    • mad hatter

      well said sir

  • Mike

    Joe I guess we should kick the entire WVU student section out of every game then too because we sure don't want them yelling at and hurting the feelings of any of the opposing players do we!

    • Aaron

      It wouldn't be the first time. Missouri ejected a portion of their student section for what they deemed inappropriate chanting. And Coaches across the nation have taken to the public microphone to put down similar behavior, most notably Coach K at Duke.

      Despite what some would claim, a ticket to a game does not give one the right act any way they choose. I for one love it when fans point out their counterparts for inappropriate actions and comments.

    • B A Winner

      Good thing they don't have this rule in the ACC. The arena would be empty for the Carolina - Duke game tonight.

      • Aaron

        If you've watched Duke over they years then you've seen Coach K take to the mic when the student section gets out of line.

        If your a fan of the game and have read much about him, you will know that he routinely mingles among students prior to games and continually reminds them that they are civilized human beings and to act accordingly.

        And on a different note, if you're a true fan of the game and you've watched Coach K over the years, you've witnessed one of the all time greats at working the refs. I know some of our average posters bemoan Coach Huggins treatment of officials but he's got nothing on Coach K, a true disciple of one of the greatest coaches of all time, Coach Knight.

  • pam

    Well bad boy Smart will not make it in the NBA . He is a punk and thinks he can do what ever he wants. The NBA will suspend him for games with out pay. I mean you don't shove someone just because they said you were a piece of crap. Come on now

    • scott

      yeah Mr Smart has the problem..not the supposed grown man calling him a loser or whatever.

      The only loser I saw was the stubby armed little air traffic controller in the stands that came about an inch from having his pattern closed.

    • Barry

      I think he will be a perfect fit for the NBA. Don't they all act like that?

  • JimJim

    Buy a gun, and "Stand Your Ground" lol

    • KeatonsCorner

      You need for those MU games, Mr. Kinzer

  • Ken

    Mr. Shaw may have a point, but to be honest I wish he would focus on the Big 12's incompetent officiating before worrying about the fans. The Big 12 refs are the worst I've seen in any league, and they hide behind the protective "you'll get fined if you criticize us" wall.

    • KeatonsCorner

      There's no such thing as conference-specific referees in basketball.............

      Enough with the conspiracy theories..

      • Bart

        Keaton, you are mistaken about the refs. The Big 12 has it's own officials

      • mad hatter

        Like what the heck do you know you inbreed.

      • Charleston

        You obviously didn't watch the SU-BC game last night.

  • RickeyT

    Fans need to tone it down. Players need to worry about the game not the fans. Hate the hand-checking rule. It gives ball drivers carte Blanche to make layups. And I have thought for years that on the charging/blocking foul calls the refs are overthinking it: if there is EQUAL CONTACT it is a NO CALL. Not that hard!

    • mad hatter

      let's just not allow and fans to watch the games in person... that certainly would solve the problem,,,ricky t , you're an idiot

  • cutty77

    I agree with Mr Shaw. Alot of fans today think they own the place. If you watch this video again watch the woman beside the man she was shaking her finger in Smarts face. Woman are worse then Men. Anybody remember the Woman in The Miami Heat Game several years ago. They told her not to come back to the games anymore.

  • Marie

    First of all, all athletes should play the game, have self control and do not ever, ever pay attention to what a fan is yelling! Secondly Mr. Smart kicked a chair in the WVU-game, should have been ejected. Secondly in same game he left the bench, went behind the bleachers through a fit, while his teammate had to come calm him down, then came back to his seat and went back into the game. Should have been ejected. Mr. Smart has bad issues, he needs
    anger management classes. Just speaking the
    truth. Constructive criticism.

  • Brian

    This issue is a slippery slope. Too many rules kills the game and turns it into a performance. Too few and the game gets dangerous. Guess I feel the NCAA is becoming more like the government - trying to mandate what used to be common sense. Unfortunately common sense isn't that common nowadays

  • Jesse Garcia

    No, it is not part of the game. Just as Mr. Shaw stated, you should cheer for your team, but insults to the opponent are not part of the game. Your ticket price does not allow you to do what you want. It seems like it is part of the game because society has accepted it, and the governing bodies have not stood up to this rude behavior. Just because we as a society pay for product or service, it does not entitle us to belittle those who provide their services. Let all of these so called fanatics perform their trade in front of thousands of people who feel they have a right to insult you and let's see how many of them can keep their composure. Sportsmanship is a thing of the past and it is time we work to bring it back. Unfortunately, it has carried over into society where too many people feel they can do what they want and rules do not pertain to them. Poor manners, rudeness, and a lack of proper etiquette are now the norm and it is very disheartening to watch.

    • truth

      Jesse: You are absolutely right. There used to be something called class and civility. Now getting seen and heard only requires vulgarity and volume. Nobody fears getting the sh-- beat out of them by other fans because they will call the police and say how they were attacked for no reason at all. A total lie but that is what the world is sinking toward. Isn't it sad that most of the offenders are usually cowards who nobody would be around by choice except they are forced to if they want to attend a sporting event and have assigned seats. The classless cowards feel protected by being surrounded by a crowd who would really like to beat the crap out of them but don't want to go to jail, so they sit on their hands. Kind of like some of the classless posts on these websites where a lot of losers hide behind their anonimity to say things they would never say face to face to another person in a private setting because they would lose some teeth. Others are just alcoholics who have lost control of their brain and mouth.

    • mad hatter

      i love it when the enemy enters our house, and we let them know it, without a doubt,,, i'll all for school spirit, name calling and whatever it takes to win g ames,,, ,make them wish they had never heard of an eer fan.

    • mad hatter

      wrong wrong wrong, i pay for the ticket , i can pretty much say what i want,,, why don't we just have closed door games, allow no fans into the games, no cheerleaders, and forget about home field advantage, and school spirit,,, your ideas suck

      • scott

        why am i not surprized at all....

        you have 0 class....but you own it

      • KeatonsCorner

        the best part is this little wimp of a man, hatter, wouldn't utter a word that he types online in real life....

        No, you do not have the right to say what you want just because you bought a ticket..... it's a sign your parents failed you for believing as much.

        • Ken

          And I bet you wouldn't utter your words in person either. Hypocrite.

          I am alwas amused by people like Keaton who hide behind their keyboards and call people names.

          Easy there Internet tough guy!

        • nashville cat

          and you have no gonads other then booby's... a little person who hids behind a computer and runs you mouth, and can't back it up

        • squad

          agreed.... somebody done got raised by his (fox news) tele-vision set..sheeezz

          where do some of these people get their ideas???

      • Jesse

        And I suppose you think because you paid for your car, then you get to drive as you like on the highway. Money does not give one unlimited entitlements. There are still limitations for all of us.

        • mad hatter

          ur an idiot,,,, you make absolutely no sense,,, crawl back in you hole and leave the sane world to the sane people

          • cutty77

            Easy Mad Hatter,
            Your Not The Sharpest Tool in The Bag either.

    • Ken

      Good Lord, we're not talking about T-ball for six year olds.

      • KeatonsCorner

        And Ken, there is the issue. You seem to think there is an age allowance for verbal abuse towards a complete stranger.

        • Ken

          No Keaton, I'm just mature enough to understand that crowds at college and NBA games are rowdy. If you think someone yelling "piece of crap" constitutes grounds to ban the fan then I doubt you've ever played one day of sports.

          I know in band they aren't supposed to cuss. Did you play clarinet or flute?

    • Joe

      Completely agree, Jesse.

  • Aaron

    While I agree that no one should use the type of language Mr. Shaw is referring to when he says fans should be tossed if by personal insults he is referring to attacks that are directly personal.

    What I fear though is that officials, a profession that is on the decline at every level as it is, will take a fan telling him a made a horrible call as reason to boot that fan.

    • mad hatter

      well said sir, i concur

  • Justin

    It called grow up and don't step to the level of a ticked off fan. You can't attack someone everytime they say something to you. An if this was a regular situation between to people. An involving a college athlete then. Someone would be in trouble with the law.

  • P B and J

    While he's at it, make sure everyone gets a trophy and finishes in 1st place.

  • Mike

    Are you serious, that's part of the game. Players like Smart need to pull up their big girl panties and deal with it.

    • mad hatter

      i love it, keep it up mike,, i totally agree,,, go home if you don't like it/

    • mad hatter

      mike , you're right on

    • Ken

      I agree with Mike. Heck, didn't Marcus Smart attack a chair just a week before he attacked the fan?

      A CHAIR.

      People need to quit making excuses for Smart and leave the fans alone.

      • Jesse

        Nobody is defending Smart. The point to be taken here is that the punishment should go both ways. Fans who are guilty for their actions should be punished just as Smart was in this case. What if a player, coach or referee doesn't react to the fan's action. Does this mean the fan has a green light to carry on. Regardless of how the participant reacts, the fans still need to be respectful .

        • daddyo

          o give it up jesse , it's a tuff world out here,, we need to quit raising pansies like obama and grow men who are tuff skinned...Smart is a thug, he feels he's special, and i for one, don't want him treated that way

      • KeatonsCorner

        Smart kicking a chair is no different than Holgorsen throwing his headset.

        • Ken

          This is not about Holgerson, Einstein.

        • mad hatter

          who said it wasn't , can we please kick holgie out of three games,, please

    • Joe

      No Mike....that's not part of the game. It is being a classes, spineless loser who even though the equipment mgr in high school goes to his wife's reunions and tells everyone he was all-state.

      • Gobbly Gook

        Learn to proofread before you hit the send button.

      • Scott

        I completely agree Mike. It irks me that people continue to make excuses as to why Smart overreacted. Maybe here's why: He's a 19 year old kid who was touted as a potential #1 pick, but is quickly seeing his draft stock tumble as he and his team struggle. If you watched the OSU vs WVU game not long before the crowd incident, you could foresee a situation arising. He is extremely immature and not ready for all the responsibilities that come with the NBA. If he can't handle a couple fans heckling him, how will he handle millions of dollars?

        • daddyo

          love it scott,, you hit the nail squarely on the head

        • Col. Klink

          (+1) Ditto

          • Joe

            You guys are true class acts. Must be a joy to sit by you during games.