Originally written February 18, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:
California head basketball coach Mike Montgomery is a fiery old school type of coach.  That fire could have him in some hot water according to ESPN. During a big Pac 12 win over USC on Sunday night, Montgomery was not pleased with his team’s effort as they were down at one point by 15 in the second half. During a timeout in the second half, Montgomery became very frustrated with junior guard Allen Crabbe, and let him know when he gave him a two-handed shove to the chest. Montgomery said he was trying to get Crabbe’s head in the game, but many pundits thought the physical contact was over the line. Mike Montgomery tried to explain why he gave Crabbe the shove. “He had no expression,” Montgomery told reporters after the game. “Mentally, he just needed a wakeup call.” Crabbe was extremely upset by the shove, and had to be calmed down in the back corridor of the arena by a few of his teammates. Crabbe would eventually score 10 points during the games final minutes to help the Golden Bears win the game.  Afterwards, reports suggest Crabbe was totally fine by the events that unfolded. “It was coach using his way of motivating me.” ”There was nothing wrong with it. It was just spur of the moment. An emotional game was going on at the time and he was trying to motivate me. But everything’s fine. It’s under the bridge. He’s my coach. No hard feelings about it.” Montgomery himself was calm after the game, and even joked around some. “We were standing around. Nobody was ready to play,” he said. ”Allen had come down twice, he’d gone to the wrong side of the floor and his guy shot two threes in. I was trying to get him going. … Allen’s my guy. I need him. We can’t win if he’s not ready to play.” Cal’s athletic director Sandy Barbour released this statement. Said Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour: “It is unacceptable for our coaches to have physical contact with student-athletes regardless of the circumstances. The second-half incident was certainly out of character for Mike Montgomery, and I am confident that something like this will not happen again.” I think if Crabbe was a freshman, I’d be concerned.  Crabbe is a Junior, the Pac 12 Conferences leading scorer, and someone who’s been around Montgomery three seasons now. Is okay for a coach to touch his player, it depends on who you ask. If Crabbe says he’s good with his coach, then I’m past it and ready to move on. Every coach can’t get away with that.
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