Cal coach Mike Montgomery says no excuse for shoving player

  • California head coach Mike Montgomery gestures and yells to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

BERKELEY — California coach Mike Montgomery said Tuesday there was no excuse for him shoving his star player during a game and that the action was completely out of character for him.

"The fact was, I was wrong," Montgomery said on a Pac-12 conference call Tuesday. "Looking back, you can't do that."

Montgomery has been publicly reprimanded by the Pac-12 conference and his own athletic director for pushing Allen Crabbe with both hands during a timeout in the second half of Cal's 76-68 win over Southern California on Sunday night.

After initially downplaying the event by calling it a motivational tactic and saying he would do it again because it worked, Montgomery issued an apology statement later that night and then expanded on that Tuesday.

"There's no excuse," he said. "I've been doing this 31 years. There's no excuse. I know better. It's totally out of character for me. I think things have changed in terms of how you can deal with kids. There's a heightened sensitivity to these kind of things but that doesn't change it. But there's nothing that makes it right. I was wrong. You have to just acknowledge that and push forward."

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