Cal men’s basketball coach Mike Montgomery made headlines for the wrong reason over the weekend when he shoved junior guard Allen Crabbe during the second half of a win over USC. Crabbe was visibly upset over the incident, but he responded by scoring 10 points in the final 4:20 of the game and leading a comeback victory.
After the game, Crabbe said that he had no problem with the shove and that it was simply Montgomery’s way of motivating him. However, his parents have a slightly different opinion — even after meeting with the coach.
“I’m probably having a hard time putting it behind me,” Crabbe’s mother, Cheryl Price, told the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday. “Allen asked his dad and I to let him handle it, (saying), ‘I have to do these things myself.’ We’re letting him handle it the way he wants to.”
Crabbe’s father, Allen Crabbe Jr., echoed his mother’s sentiments.
“I told Montgomery, ‘I respect you as a coach. Do I respect what you did? No. You can’t put your hands on a kid. It’s 2013,” he said. “He understood and said it was his mistake.”
For his part, Montgomery apologized and said there was no excuse for his actions.
“There’s no excuse,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 31 years. I know better. It’s totally out of character for me. There’s nothing that makes it right.”
People make mistakes. Montgomery got carried away during the heat of the moment, and he has acknowledged that. He didn’t punch a kid in the face or throw him to the ground. He shoved him in the chest. We’ve seen players do far worse to their teammates after they make a big play. It’s fully understandable that Crabbe’s parents do not approve, but I highly doubt Montgomery will do anything of the sort again.