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.