BERKELEY -- 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."
Crabbe said after the game that he considered the incident "under the bridge." His mother believes he has moved on.
"Based on everything that has happened, I'm believing it is (over). I know in Allen's mind it is. He's all about the work," she said. "I'm talking incredible character. I'm so proud of him."
"We don't hold onto stuff," Crabbe's father said.
Montgomery has received rebukes from Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour and the Pac-12 office, which issued a public reprimand.
Asked directly if she has any lingering issues with the coach, Price said she is following her son's lead and allowing him to dictate the tone going forward. She did acknowledge that almost everyone has had moments they wish they could take back.
"How many of us have said something, and as soon as the words left your mouth you regret it?" she said. "That doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human."
The Bears, tied for fourth place in the Pac-12 after winning five of their past six games, face a significant game Thursday on the road against conference-leading Oregon. Neither of Crabbe's parents believe the team will be distracted by this incident.
"He's a big team kind of guy. He's not going to do anything that's going to upset the team chemistry," she said. "They are playing so well right now."
"We want to win the Pac-12 and get to the (NCAA) tournament," Allen Crabbe Jr., said. "That's our focus."
Crabbe's father said the episode will have no bearing on whether Crabbe enters the NBA draft after this season, but suggested that is a real possibility.
"That was his goal (entering) this year, to come out," Crabbe father said. "Timing is everything. But he has to finish strong."
The episode has become big news in the world of a 24-hour news cycle and social media. Price said she has struggled a bit dealing with the notion that people who don't even know her son have made public judgments about him.
"There's so much drama surrounding it now ... everyone has an opinion," she said. "He's a brat ... he's a prima donna. Really? Allen works hard every game."
Crabbe's parents, who are divorced, had different opinions on Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs pulling Crabbe away from the team huddle and into a nearby tunnel to cool off.
"Justin did the absolutely the best thing to get him out of the situation at the time," Price said. "Allen's been raised well. It's not like he going to attack his coach, but he's going to speak up for himself. Any man would be furious."
Countered Allen Crabbe Jr., "I think a lot of people overreacted. All that holding him back ... Allen's not going to hit the coach. He's been raised to respect. He was just shocked that Montgomery did it."