EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHandshakes Not Banned At Kentucky High Schools' Postgame Events
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dan Matics
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Tiersa Davis, Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 9, 2013 10:04 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 11:21 PM EDT
Lexington , Kentucky
There was controversy in Kentucky over what's happening on the field after high school football games.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association reported they were banning postgame handshakes but the word "ban" might have been a bit much.
The director released a statement Wednesday that said it was not the case. They have retracted that citing a “miscommunication.”
However, they are wanting the coaches to take more responsibility on the field after the game.
One coach said he’s not worried about the fights and said his players are taught to respect the game.
John Gilliam has been coaching high school football for quite some time.
That’s why when there was talk of a ban on handshakes between rival teams after games, the coach of the Boyd County Lions had a reaction.
"I'm not for it,” he said. “There's a place for sportsmanship."
But the Kentucky High School Athletic Association is more concerned about fights.
A video showing what's concerning to them after the game. Tensions are high and “sportsmanship” takes a turn. Amid outrage from teams, the association has retracted the ban. Instead, they are now suggesting, “If schools desire to perform postgame rituals such as handshake lines, they must be able to monitor the activity closely. If they do not have adequate personnel to properly monitor, then they shouldn't allow the activity.”
The ''suggestion'' comes after two dozen football brawls in Kentucky in the past several years.
Gilliam said it comes down to coaching.
“You've got to teach the kids how to win and lose," he said.
He said his kids have it down pretty well.
Justin Holcomb, of Boyd County High, said good sporting behavior is all about 'respecting the game.'
"Tell them ‘good job,’” he said.
A lesson in respect, Gilliam said is way more important than winning.
Gilliam said his coaching staff are always on the field when the hand shake lines happen.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association said a report that it had banned postgame handshakes at high school sporting events was incorrect and that the association had just recommended that postgame rituals, including handshakes, should be monitored so that no unsportsmanlike conduct occurs.
Commissioner Julie Tackett of the KHSAA said the original report by The Associated Press was incorrect. Tackett said over the past few years, there have been two dozen incidents in which improper conduct occurred and was not effectively monitored by supervisors. Tackett said schools that cannot properly monitor the postgame ceremonies will be held accountable for the conduct. She said independent contractors, or game officials, are not responsible for monitoring the activities but the school administrators.
The full statement can be found here: here
Kentucky's athletic sanctioning body has ordered high schools not to conduct postgame handshakes in all sports following more than two dozen physical confrontations the past three years.
Tuesday's directive from Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Julian Tackett posted on its web site didn't mention specific fights or conflicts but said several fall sports have had postgame incidents. The organization says it's "disappointing" to take such action but that it became necessary because of occurrences statewide and nationally.
KHSAA has also instructed game officials to immediately leave facilities after contests or risk being penalized.
Teams can choose to ignore the order. Schools that can conduct handshakes must supervise the activity and report any incidents to KHSAA.
Member schools or coaches that engage in unsportsmanlike behavior will be fined and penalized.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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