You may have missed it last night, but near the end of Stanford’s blowout win over Cal in Berkeley, frustration boiled over as a frustrated Allen Crabbe took exception to being knocked to the floor by Stanford’s Dwight Powell.
There was a bunch of pushing and shoving as well as quite a bit of posturing, but, thankfully, no punches were thrown and order was restored fairly quickly as players, refs and coaches were able to get the two sides separated.
But after spending ten minutes at the monitor reviewing what happened, the refs not only tossed the players that left the bench, they ejected Cal assistant Gregg Gottlieb and Stanford assistants Mark Madsen and Charles Payne. And they were right to, as the NCAA rulebook says that only the head coach is allowed to leave the bench during a fracas.
That rule needs to change.
Those three assistants — Gottlieb in particular, who yanked a couple of Stanford players out of the mix — helped settle down what was a tense situation. Anyone that threw a punch would have been suspended for the next game, and it just so happens that the next game for both teams is the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. A fired up, emotional college athlete is only going to take getting pushed in a scrum like that so many times before he reacts with his fists, and those assistant coaches made sure that didn’t happen.
Good on them.
And if I’m either Mike Montgomery or Johnny Dawkins, I’m doing nothing but praising them for their hustle while pushing for that rule to be changed.
Coaches are supposed to be the peacemakers, and the more peacemakers that are on the floor during a fight, the better.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?
Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.
According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.
The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.
If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.
Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.