Cal Coach Montgomery Criticized For Shove

Cal men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery reprimanded for pushing player.

By Chris Roberts and Jodi Hernandez
|  Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013  |  Updated 10:39 AM PDT
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Cal's men's basketball team came back and beat USC Sunday night, but as Jodi Hernandez reports - the motivation for the comeback is being questioned.

Cal's men's basketball team came back and beat USC Sunday night, but as Jodi Hernandez reports - the motivation for the comeback is being questioned.

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Cal coach Mike Montgomery has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 for shoving one of his own players during a game Sunday night.

The conference did not announce what specific punishment Montgomery received for his action, although the Associated Press said it would not include suspension.

Montgomery, who coaches the men's basketball team, gave star player Alan Crabbe a "shove" during a second-half timeout.

There is no proof of a connection, but the Bears were losing at the time.

After the timeout, the team made a come back, lead by Crabbe, and beat USC 76-68. 

"It worked, didn't it?" Montgomery said after the game.

Later he apologized after Sandy Barbour, the Cal athletic director, called the shove "unacceptable."

Montgomery said his "passion for the game" may have played a role.

California Sen. Leland Yee said the reprimand is not enough.  He wants Montgomery to be suspended for a game.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Lee said the university should not tolerate that kind of behavior from our coaches.

"The game was an emotional one, but representatives of UC – especially adults – need to be able to control their emotions and refrain from physical altercations with students. I urge the university to take swift disciplinary action of at least a one-game suspension and I wish the Cal basketball program the very best as they enter the final games of the season,” Yee said in a statement. 

With 16:31 left in the second half, Crabbe, the Pac-12 conference's leading scorer, had 9 points. He scored 14 more after Montgomery "gave him a sharp push" and "yelled, 'Do you want to play?'"

You can watch the altercation for yourself below.

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