Michigan State HC Tom Izzo: Getting rid of handshake line would be a ‘farce’
from Victor Barbosa with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
In the wake of Sunday afternoon’s ugly scene centered around Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard following the Wolverines’ loss to Wisconsin, many fans and pundits have called for the traditional postgame handshake line between opponents to be abolished. Legendary Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo isn’t among them.
“That, to me, would be the biggest farce, joke, ridiculous nature of anything I’ve ever heard of,” Izzo told reporters on Monday. “We’ve already taught these poor 18-year-olds that when you’re told to go to class and you don’t like it, you can leave. We’ve already told these kids that if you’re not happy, you can do something else. We’ve already told these kids that it’s hard to hold them accountable.”
During the exchange of handshakes between the Wolverines and Badgers on Sunday, Howard and Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard got into a heated exchange, stemming from Gard calling a timeout with 15 seconds left in the game and his squad up by 15 points. As assistant coaches and players attempted to separate the two, Howard took a swipe at Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft, sending the situation into an all-out melee.
“And now we’re going to tell them to not man up and walk down a line to someone who’s kicked your butt and have enough class to shake their hand is utterly ridiculous. So if the president said it, I think he’s full of it. If the best coach in America said it, I think … that gets me more than this incident,” Izzo said. “Not shaking hands, that’s typical of our country right now. … Instead of solving the problem, let’s make an excuse and let’s see if we can just, instead of confronting and demanding that it changes, let’s eliminate it so that we don’t have those problems. Let’s try to do that.”
It was announced on Monday that Howard would be banned for the rest of the regular season and fined $40,000, while Michigan forwards Terrance Williams II and Moussa Diabate will be suspended for one game. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was handed a $10,000 fine, and Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath was suspended one game.
Soon after the Gard fine was reported, though, Badgers athletic director Chris McIntosh announced that Wisconsin Athletics would “assume the responsibility” for paying the fine.