California men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for shoving Golden Bears standout Allen Crabbe in the chest during a timeout Sunday night.
BERKELEY, Calif. — California coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 on Monday for shoving one of his players in the chest during a game.
Conference officials did not announce the specific punishment Montgomery received for his actions Sunday night, although he will not be suspended.
“While emotions can run high in competitive environments, Pac-12 coaches are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect credit on the institution and the conference,” commissioner Larry Scott said. “Each Pac-12 coach must be aware that they are an example to student-athletes and other students, and consistent with this influence and visibility, must meet a particularly high standard.”
The confrontation happened during a timeout early in the second half of Cal’s 76-68 victory over USC. Montgomery shouted at standout guard Allen Crabbe for what he perceived as nonchalant play and then shoved Crabbe in the chest with both hands.
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Montgomery downplayed the run-in immediately after the game but later issued an apology through the school. On Monday, he acknowledged he went too far trying to motivate Crabbe, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring with a 19.8 average.
“I made a mistake,” Montgomery said in an interview with Pac-12 Networks. “There’s no question about that.”
Montgomery noted other teams use physical tactics against Crabbe.
“I’m sure he gets tired of that,” Montgomery said. “Sometimes he tends to take himself out a little bit. Yet for us, he’s our leader. We can’t play if Allen is not engaged. To his credit, he generally has been. But in this particular game, I thought he was a little bit out of it.”
Crabbe had to be forcibly restrained by teammates and briefly left the court before returning.
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour termed Montgomery’s actions “unacceptable.”
After the game, Crabbe said, “Everything’s fine. It’s under the bridge. He’s my coach; no hard feelings.”
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• Former Duke player Phil Henderson died Sunday at his home in the Philippines at age 44, school officials said. No cause of death was given.
Henderson averaged a team-high 18.5 points for Duke in the 1989-90 season, when the Blue Devils lost to UNLV 103-73 in the NCAA championship game.