Let’s not scrap the post-game handshake

creaniumichigan250In the wake of the Tom Crean dust-up with a Michigan assistant coach after Indiana’s victory over the Wolverines on Sunday, the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy advocates that college basketball needs to eliminate the “useless tradition” of the post-game handshake line.

In other words, since grown men can’t act as grown men, let’s discard one of the last bastions of sportsmanship in sports.

DeCourcy calls the handshakes absurd, silly and unnecessary. He says it serves no purpose. He says that Major League Baseball and the NBA don’t follow the post-game practice. He says the handshakes are done for the benefit of television.

That might be, but at high school football and basketball games across the country, coaches and players shake hands after games. Tennis combatants come to the net after a match and shake hands, win or lose.

As Seth Davis said this morning via twitter, ” If u can’t suck it up & be a gentleman for 2 secs u shldn’t b coaching.”

Exactly. DeCourcy countered that the handshake is a show. It is. But it’s a show worth watching. In fact, one of my pet peeves is when the television director cuts away at the end of games and fails to show us the two coaches shaking hands.

The post-game handshake is more than a tradition; it’s a statement about what sports should be in the first place. Between the lines, two combatants compete fiercely to win the game. After the outcome is decided, the two sides come together to congratulate each other on their efforts.

Just because one classless coach lost his grip Sunday doesn’t mean we should scrap sport’s one last grasp at sportsmanship.

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