Two days after coach Mike Montgomery shoved her son during Cal’s basketball game against USC, Allen Crabbe’s mother said she still is dealing with an array of emotions.
“I’m probably having a hard time putting it behind me,” Crabbe’s mother, Cheryl Price, said in a phone interview Tuesday morning with this newspaper. “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.”
Montgomery gave Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, a sharp push during a timeout early in the second half of Cal’s game Sunday against USC, hoping to motivate him. Crabbe scored 14 of his 23 points after the incident, sparking a 76-68 come-from-behind victory.
Allen Crabbe Jr., the Cal star’s father, said he emerged from a meeting with the coach satisfied the matter is closed and there won’t be a repeat of the incident.
“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,” Crabbe’s father said in a phone interview. “He understood and said it was his mistake.”
Montgomery, on a Pac-12 coaches teleconference with reporters, reiterated his admission that he acted inappropriately.
“Fact is, I was wrong,” Montgomery said. “Allen was fine with it, we’re fine with each other, the team’s fine. That’s really your primary concern.”
Montgomery said the pressures of a late-season push toward the NCAA tournament do not mitigate his behavior.
“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.”
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