Here is the opening to my column about Mike Montgomery shoving Allan Crabbe:

Mike Montgomery, University of California men’s basketball coach, shoved Allan Crabbe, his star player, during a timeout Sunday night in a game against University of Southern California.

You can see the shove, a two-handed, hard push to Crabbe’s chest, online. It is the kind of shove that can start a fight. The Montgomery shove is all over the Internet.

You see Montgomery, his face showing anger at his star’s casual play, push Crabbe. You see Crabbe’s face, a mixture of amazement and anger, yell at Montgomery. Two players push Crabbe away. Crabbe goes under the stands to cool off. He is really ticked off — he has every right to be. Play resumes.

Let it be noted that Cal was losing to the Trojans at the time. After the shove, Crabbe played better and Cal came back and won.

So what?

To read the full column, click here.

Be Sociable, Share!



  1. sffranciscan

    Mike Montgomery is quite lucky that young man showed restraint and a sense of calm. Coaches, especially 66-year-old, 6′ 195 lbs. coaches, would do well to remember the world has changed in the last thirty years.

    Lou Holtz could grab a facemask and even slap a player and still somehow land a tv job. Bobby Knight thought he could choke his players. Hard to believe to this day.

    But Montgomery came very close to a video-taped humiliation far worse than his ridiculous behavior; he was lucky not to have his jaw broken for such an insult.

    Time to retire, Mike. You clearly don’t know your own strength.

    February 19th, 2013 12:36 am

  2. John

    I’m a Cal guy, and there’s nothing better than beating SC at anything, unless it’s beating Stanford at everything.
    (There’s a difference.) However, Montgomery’s shove wasn’t worth it.

    Though I read your column on a consistent basis, it’s not often I agree with it. This time I do.

    You’re right. He’s not a Woody Hayes or Bobby Knight.
    So, Montgomery gets a pass this time because his behavior is out of character. But, this is a one time pass. If there is a next time, he’s gone.

    February 19th, 2013 7:57 am

  3. Mark M

    It was obviously unacceptable. Monty is a great coach and I still have nothing but the highest respect for the man. He’s a Bay Area legend and I will certainly not hold it against him. I’m sure it will not happen again.

    Doesn’t a small part of you weep for the overly PC world we continue to descend into? The outrage is out of proportion.

    February 19th, 2013 8:34 am

  4. Stan

    Monte Poole wrote it wasn’t Montgomerys first time.

    February 19th, 2013 9:14 am

  5. CohnZohn

    Stan, I saw that. Gee.

    February 19th, 2013 9:20 am

  6. chris

    What Montgomery did was totally ridiculous. And it doesn’t surprise me. I always thought the guy was a bit flawed when he jumped to the NBA for big bucks which made no sense when he had a winning machine at Stanford. And then showing no loyalty at all to Stanford by going to their main rival Cal. And Lowell, what woulduv been really intersting to debate is if rather than reversing the incident with Crabbe shoving the coach, how about if Crabbe had shoved Montgomery in response to the first shove……I doubt many people woulduv blamed him. I wouldn’t.

    February 19th, 2013 10:39 am

  7. Bray

    IMO, in my little world, I loved it. 2 adult men with a disagreement, Crabbe’s attitude needed an adjustment and he got it, and it worked. Nobody was harmed, nobody. But the ‘righteous’ of this land MUST tell everyone how wrong it was.
    You can’t always give a ‘wake up call’ with words, but then again, I’m old school when it comes to discipline. I could really care less, I laugh at the ‘outrage’.

    February 19th, 2013 11:02 am

  8. Steve the cat rescuer

    I agree with your assessment, but take exception to you describing him as a “great” coach. Overall very good, but to be labeled great a coach has to win the big one. Isn’t that one of your arguments for reserving the term as it applies to Harbaugh? At Stanford, I think he was outcoached in the semifinals when he had his best chance to win the NCAA championship. I don’t follow college basketball like I used to (the one and done soured me), but his record at Cal has not come close to what he achieved at Stanford. Two such incidents in the span of a few weeks (thanks for that Stan); maybe he’s the one going through the motions and beginning to take it out on his players.

    February 19th, 2013 11:34 am

  9. Latrell Spreewell

    Nothin wrong with what coach did
    If players can beat on coaches then this aint nothin either
    I mean, I agree with you Lowel, 110%
    Now let me borrow 5 grand till the first of next month, ok?

    February 19th, 2013 11:52 am

  10. Stan

    One sports station says the first incident was in front or reporters and that none wrote about it. Monte doesn’t say he saw that first time.If he did..then why didn’t he write about it then? Or those who surely saw it in the media? Sounds newsworthy to me.

    February 19th, 2013 11:59 am

  11. Stan

    Who would ever have guessed that out of all the present and former bay area coaches like Mike Singletary,Tom Cable,and Jim Harbaugh,Mike Montgomery would be the player beater?
    You never know.

    February 19th, 2013 1:25 pm

  12. Tiburon Dave

    Sandy Barbour has another disaster on her hands…

    You Tube neither forgives nor forgets and Coach Montgomery is done…

    Too bad…ran a tight program and his kids graduate…he’s not the devil…

    February 19th, 2013 1:30 pm

  13. lameduck

    College sports are an extension of the classroom. I’m trying to think of what the life lesson to learned here is. The loss could have been quite educational. But with the shove, the message taught baffles me.

    It’s not the way I want my son to be coached or taught.

    February 19th, 2013 3:02 pm

  14. Stan

    Speaking of Harbaugh..
    Pete Prisco of CBS Sports : “Jim Harbaugh thinks he’s better then everybody else. He tries to hide it,but he does”. Well,in his defense he came within five yards of proving he’s better then everybody else-lol.

    February 19th, 2013 3:19 pm

  15. gary

    His post game comments, in some ways were worse than the shove. that could sort of fall
    under “the heat of the moment”
    But to justify that action because he
    “won” the game?
    Suspension without pay for a chunk of the season would be appropiate.
    (sure is not going to help future recruiting)

    February 19th, 2013 3:28 pm

  16. K.G.

    Idk…Mike Montgomery always struck me as the kind of “cool as a cumber” kind of Coach, but apparently not so.

    I saw the push, and It was wrong, but I also saw that Coach Montgomery was clearly caught up in the moment…but it was still wrong.

    The look on Crabbe’s face was sheer humiliation, and embarrassment, in front of his peers. Then Crabbe reacted as any Man would towards his Coach. I hope as Crabbe said, “this is all water under the bridge,” because it was a very low moment for Mike Montgomery, who I believe is an excellent college basketball coach.

    February 19th, 2013 4:26 pm

  17. Dennis

    I feel sorry for everyone involved, including us. This is just tragic on so many levels.

    February 19th, 2013 4:31 pm

  18. Bob Knight

    Totally unacceptable!! The guy needs to control his temper or get out of the game.

    February 19th, 2013 4:35 pm

  19. sffranciscan

    @Mark M

    “PC reaction…out of proportion”?

    Really? And if the kid had laid Montgomery out, what would have happened to the young man? No teacher at Cal or any university in the country would be allowed to push a student who “looked like he didn’t care” (Montgomery’s words). So why can a coach?

    You’d be fired, and never hired for another job, if you pushed or slapped a student in any class at any level. Mike Montgomery is a very lucky man. That luck runs out the next time he behaves like an idiot.

    February 19th, 2013 5:41 pm

  20. Johnc

    Crabbe acted graciously after the incident. Montgomery should keep his hands to himself. He is lucky that he did not get his jaw rearranged. There is no excuse for shoving a player.
    If this is the second incident in recent times then Montgomery needs to be on medication or get the hell out of coaching cause he can’t control his hysterical temper. Imagine John Wooden shoving or punching or choking players. Bobby Knight got away with murder. He knew how to win but he is a mean spirited psychopath .

    February 20th, 2013 3:47 am

  21. Stan

    Do me a favor if you run into Montgomery Lowell. Ask him if he was ever hit as an athlete by his coachs?
    Usually,abusers were abused.

    February 20th, 2013 1:54 pm

  22. Streetglide

    Basketball is a stupid, boring, repetitive game and the college version is further despoiled by being associated with the NCAA. Probably 99 percent of college players will never make a dime, most never graduate and many go back to the ghetto while the schools and the NCAA slave masters rake in millions. That’s a fact plain and simple. please don’t cover NCAA basketball; that stuff is pure evil.

    February 20th, 2013 2:47 pm

  23. Bray

    What’s really ‘tragic’ is that this many people have such a strong reaction to such a non-issue. We have become a soceity of finger pointing softies, it makes me shake my head.

    February 21st, 2013 9:19 am

Submit Your Comments


Required, will not be published