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(Video Credit: MLive)
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo let loose after a reporter asked him Monday about getting rid of the postgame handshake line following Sunday’s physical altercation between Michigan’s Head Coach Juwan Howard and Wisconsin coaches Greg Gard and Joe Krabbenhoft.
Izzo bluntly stated that the possibility of not having the handshake line is “the biggest farce, joke, ridiculous nature of anything I’ve ever heard of.”
“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,” he asserted.
“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 remarked.
“Not shaking hands, that’s typical of our country right now,” he noted. “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.”
“That’s not happening here,” Izzo concluded. “So if some team doesn’t want to shake hands, you’re going to see 15 of my guys walk down and shake air. We’re going to shake air and I’m going to shake air and then we’re going to leave.”
And I don't want to hear people say "this is why we should get rid of handshake lines." If you can't handle a handshake line, you shouldn't be in college athletics.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 20, 2022
The Big Ten Conference announced on Monday that Howard has been fined $40,000 and suspended for the rest of the regular season for punching Krabbenhoft in the face following the Wolverines’ 77-63 loss to Wisconsin according to the Bleacher Report.
Juwan Howard strikes Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft after Michigan-Wisconsin game pic.twitter.com/fbv0WKzbT6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 20, 2022
Howard shoved his finger in Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard’s face who then prevented Howard from walking past him by grabbing his arm. Krabbenhoft then came over in the middle of the scrum and exchanged words with Howard, who then proceeded to punch Krabbenhoft in the face.
The incident continued to spiral out of control, with players pushing and shoving. Three players were suspended after appearing to throw punches during the clash.
Howard stated during a postgame press conference that he didn’t take kindly to Gard calling a timeout with 15 seconds remaining in the game when the Badgers were winning 76-61.
“I didn’t like the timeout being called, to be totally honest,” Howard told ESPN. “I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially being a large lead.”
There were multiple opportunities for Juwan Howard to apologize or admit he erred during his postgame press conference. He instead doubled down, calling Greg Gard's timeout "not necessary" and insisting that Gard touching him in the handshake line was what "escalated it."
— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) February 20, 2022
The postgame handshake line then became an issue as announcers, athletes, and fans debated over it.
Howard is no stranger to getting into it with other coaches evidently. He was booted in the second half of a 2019 Big Ten tournament game against Maryland for getting into a shouting match with coach Mark Turgeon according to the Bleacher Report.
Many agreed with coach Izzo on handshake lines:
100% It’s called sportsmanship, respect, discipline, accountability, character, class…We are all responsible for teaching this to our kids! No matter how big or small the occasion or event! It matters!
— Michele Mathieson (@MommaMathie) February 22, 2022
So sad that yet again the mainstream would rather brush the issue under the carpet than face it head on. As a player for 17 years and lifelong fan of hockey, if they EVER stop the handshake line during the playoffs, I will rescind my love of the sport and never watch again.
— Father of Metcalf Mafia Media (@MetcalfMafiaMed) February 22, 2022
Outstanding response by Coach Izzo and I know some will be upset by this but he is so right you have to man up
— Keane (@kranepool) February 22, 2022
Izzo is my new favorite coach. That’s coming from a die hard penn state fan.
— Tim Schaeffer (@tssc121) February 22, 2022
My kids can play for him any day of the week
— J. GARCIA (@garcia51694) February 22, 2022
Refreshing to hear someone making sense.
— Xi variant (@doom_mt) February 22, 2022
Wrestlers twist, turn, rub their opponents face in the mat, and inflict pain on their opponent in a gladiator like sport.
At the end of the match, they shake hands. Many opponents (win or lose) shake the opposing coaches hands after each match. If they can do that, hoops can.
— Matt Minahan (@mtminahan) February 22, 2022
As a Jayhawk and Michigan hybrid. I respect the heck out of Izzo for this. Handshake lines have to stay. He’s teaching these young guys to be kind, courteous, and always do the right thing.
— Brian (@Bdhhoops182) February 22, 2022
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