Thursday, Dec 5, 2013
Athletic Departments Speak Out Against Kentucky's Handshake Ban
WSIL -- Post game handshakes could be a thing of the past at some Kentucky sporting events. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association recommends ending the practice because it too often leads to fights.
Here in Illinois, athletic officials say they will not follow suit. They say when players from each team shake hands at the end of a game, it's meant to encourage good sportsmanship. It's a trait that coaches try to instill in their players.
Vienna Goreville Head Football Coach Mike Rude has coached for several different schools in southern Illinois over the last 44 years and has seen his share of post game incidents.
"We've had kids punched by opposing players after games when they are going to shake hands," said Rude. "I'm sure I've been guilty of the fact that I haven't shown sportsmanship after a game, a really heated contest."
Rude says sometimes a post-game handshake isn't wise, and it should be up to officials and coaches to make the decision not to have one.
"If you look at an intense rivalry game, you are hoping that the sportsmanship is going to come out, but lots of times it just doesn't," Rude explained.
Marion Athletic Director Mike Chornak says post-game handshakes are important because they teach kids the value of sportsmanship.
"You're going to win, you're going to lose. How you react to that is going to be something that you can carry with you for the rest of your life," said Chornak.
No coach or administrator wants to see their players fighting on the field, but they say Kentucky's recommendation to end post game handshakes is an over-reaction because the practice is too important.
"I hope it never gets to that point. You shouldn't get to that point," Chornak said.
Despite the state recommendation, three schools, including two of the largest in Kentucky, will continue post-game handshakes.
A Kentucky lawmaker says he plans to introduce a bill to remove the high school association's power to fine schools and athletic personnel.
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