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Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery reprimanded for pushing player

02.19.13 at 8:20 am ET

University of California basketball coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference following an incident late in the second half of Sunday night’s game vs. USC, when the coach pushed leading scorer Allen Crabbe during a timeout.

Montgomery was angry that Crabbe was not running hard, and he pushed the player in the chest, yelling, “Do you want to play.” Two of Crabbe’s teammates then guided the 6-foot-6 junior away from his coach and to the tunnel toward the locker room to talk to him.

Crabbe returned to the game and scored 10 points over the final 4 1/2 minutes as Cal pulled away for a 78-68 victory.

Montgomery initially downplayed the incident before releasing a postgame statement, saying, “I have great passion for this game and tonight, I let my emotions get away from me in the heat of the moment. While my intent was to motivate our student-athletes, my behavior was inappropriate and I apologize for my actions.”

Said Crabbe after the game: “It was an emotional game at the time. He was trying to motivate me. Everything’s fine. It’s under the bridge. He’s my coach.”

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour also released a statement, saying: “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.”

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