Shove Soils Montgomery's Wholesome Image

Shove Soils Montgomery's Wholesome Image

I don't know how well Mike Montgomery slept Sunday night and Monday morning, but his reputation didn't get a wink.

The Cal basketball coach, whose image is about as wholesome as can be found in the oily business of college hoops, worked up enough fury to shove one of his players during a 76-68 win over USC on Sunday at Haas Pavilion.

It was a sad moment, a shameful episode, a regrettable incident. It put a scar on what has been a remarkable 31-year career as a college head coach.

It also was a no-excuse matter if there ever was one -- even if the victim, junior guard Allen Crabbe, shrugged it off immediately afterward.

Yet there is was, for all to see, Montgomery turning on Crabbe and shoving the star player near the Cal bench. Thousands witnessed it live, and millions more around the globe have seen it or will see it in the coming days.

After initially saying "it worked" and that he'd do it again, if that's what it took to "wake up" Crabbe, Montgomery later issued a statement expressing regret.

"I have great passion for this game and tonight, I let my emotions get away from me in the heat of the moment," the coach said in a statement released around midnight, nearly three hours after the game. "While my intent was to motivate our student-athletes, my behavior was inappropriate and I apologize for my actions."

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