Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On Sunday night, the PAC-12's leading scorer was shoved around on the basketball court. But it wasn't USC's basketball team that did the shoving. It was Allen Crabbe's own coach. Today Mike Montgomery apologize for doing something that was "completely out of character" for him. "There's no place in sports that you can basically put your hands on one of your student athletes, said Montgomery. Or a place where you can lose yo' damn mind. 
 Montgomery did not apologize for his shove of Crabbe after Cal's 76-68 comeback win over the Trojans. In fact, Montgomery said the whole thing was all part of his plan. "Worked, didn't it?"
Crabbe scored 14 points after the shove and led the Bears back from a 15-point deficit to win.
Apparently, Cal's athletic director and the PAC-12 weren't basing their public reprimands of Montgomery on whether the means justified the ends. And State Senator Leland Yee, called for Montgomery to be punished. "I urge the university to take swift disciplinary action of at least a one-game suspension," said Yee.
But that's basically where the outrage ended. None of the major sports media websites, SI.com, ESPN.com or CBSSports.com had this story on their front pages, or their NCAA men's basketball front pages. Can you imagine if a player touched a coach? Oh wait, we don't have to imagine.
Remember Latrell Sprewell? The former Golden State Warrior became a villain  and a criminal in the eyes of the media when he put his hands around the neck of his head coach. There are conflicting reports of just how serious an incident this was, but like they always do, the media chose to report the worst case scenario, especially since it represented a chance to really stick it to the hated Sprewell. (Not saying he's a great guy, but I like objectively with my media reporting the way some people like milk with their cereal) Much later, there were some reports about coach P.J. Carlisemo's  belittling of players. Some said it was enough to drive a player to, as Wayne Brady once said, "choke a bitch." 
There are those who will say what happened to Crabbe and what happened to Carlisemo can't compare: one guy was shoved and the other guy was almost choked to death. But ask yourself one question; isn't it worse if the person doing the shoving is the one with the power? Racial or sexual harassment doesn't work if the one doing the harassing doesn't have the power. If they're doing it and they're not powerful enough to fire you for complaining, then you're just dealing with a stupid person. What Montgomery did was a thousand times worse than what Sprewell did. Montgomery completely embarrassed a young man barely 21 years-old in front of the 100 or 200 people who attend Cal games and the 500 others watching on TV. A day later, 50 million people saw Crabbe physically, and mentally embarrassed. Crabbe had no power. No ability to fire Montgomery and make him pay for the assault. All he could do was sulk and walk it off, which made him look even worse, right? I mean if a coach discipline's a player, the coach must have a reason? Crabbe is the leading scorer in the PAC-12. The one bright spot on an otherwise mediocre team/program. Crabbe suffered a humiliation no apology will ever let him forget. What will Cal do to Montgomery? The Bears have won 5 of their last 6 games including wins over highly ranked Arizona and Oregon. What do you think Cal will do to Montgomery?

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