Time to get rid of hand shake line at end of games after Mick Cronin nearly fights Xavier player

Today wasn’t Mick Cronin’s best day. This pic is from eight years ago. It’s hard to find pictures of Cronin where he doesn’t look nuts. This one is my favorite.

Slapping hands while repeating “Good game” 20 times without making eye contact is not good sportsmanship.

It’s a show, and it’s presence as a mindlessly followed tradition has consequences.

Today, it nearly resulted in a fight between Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin and a player for rival Xavier.

When I was in high school, a player from Trinity High School sucker punched one of my teammates during the postgame hand shake line.  A semi-brawl followed.

As a freshman, my son was in the the middle of a full on brawl after a basketball game at Arlington High School after an Arlington player sucker punched one his Cathedral teammates.  The father of the player who was punched had a cardiac episode as a result of the episode.

Had social media been what it is today, the season likely would have ended for both teams.

Multiply this two tame stories by 10,000, add today’s mess, and you get an idea of how mindnumpingly stupid this inane tradition is.

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To force competitors to engage with one another moments after the end of heated competition is nothing more than a meaningless show with a potential consequence of a fist fight or worse.

Cronin was a total tool today.  He lost control of his emotions and went after a college student who mouthed off.  He is supposed to be an adult, a role model, an educator.  Because of the handshake line following his team’s loss today, all the supposed good of the handshake lines in all the gyms across the country has been undone.

You want good sportsmanship?  Let the players cool down for a few minutes, shower, and meet in a hallway someplace.  How about allowing what always happens anyway – the players for both teams meander around the court saying hello to family members, and they take that opportunity to say hello to friends on the other team?  Can’t that count as good sportsmanship, or does it have to happen in front of a crowd and cameras to carry weight?

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By that point, they have cooled down a little bit, and they can say more than a simple, “Good game.”

To think the handshake line is a meaningful exercise worth the potential calamity narrowly missed this afternoon is foolish.

Ask players.  Ask coaches.  I have, and have found very few who believe the handshake line is anything other than an unpleasant and nonsensical pain in the ass with a huge downside.

End the charade today.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.

8 thoughts on “Time to get rid of hand shake line at end of games after Mick Cronin nearly fights Xavier player

  1. Al Score

    A time honored tradition of sportsmanship and you want to get rid of it? Take a look in the mirror at the tool looking back at you!

  2. Joe large

    It reminds me of sticking a microphone in some player’s face get a reaction and talk about it for the next day headlines. When I played we didn’t do it. When did it start. Can the two schools decide not to do it?

  3. Jeff Gregory

    Has it come down to this? We have lost the civility in this country to the point where we can’t handle a simple end of the game handshake? Maybe it isn’t the handshake that is the problem.

    1. Al Score

      Kudos to Jeff Gregory… it’s not the handshake that is the problem… maybe it has to do with this everybody gets trophies generation that don’t understand how to lose? I traveled to the Wisconsin/Xavier game and JP about started a riot up there, so it was just a matter of time before it happened… about guarantee somebody takes a shot at him in a game during the season and he finishes the season in a mask

      1. BballFan

        Do you mean the Wisconsin game that had a stadium of fans yelling A$$hole and little dick at JP the whole game. If that is where you were hurt by him responding with the troll gator chomp? Then yes, your right to suggest JP should be sucker punched. …Come on man, recognize that if JP were on your team you would love be him. Since he is a good player that plays with emotion for the other team, that you hate him. Just like people hate Duke players, etc… Leave it at that. JP is a good kid (yes, I know that for a fact) and a great college basketball player who gets too emotional at times in the heat of the battle. He continues to mature and he is learning from these things. But, don’t let Cronin off for being a punk. He said the same thing to JP, and neither is right. However, a coach is NOT a 22 yr old and JP didn’t try to fight him. BIG difference.

  4. David Roushia

    Why do the actions of a few always seem to result in somebody wanting to change the rules and / or traditions? Severe disciplinary action to the offending parties will be the best example for bad behavior. Lets get back to making examples of the perpetrators so that others will be more aware of how they are to conduct themselves and the consequences if they don’t act accordingly. These principles apply to all areas of life.

  5. Pingback: Is it time to get rid of handshake lines after games? – The Sportsmanship Guy

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