A heated verbal and physical exchange from Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made headlines after Sunday's NFL action, and brings up an intriguing question: Should coaches be required to shake hands?
Texas coach Mack Brown said he'd like to see the NCAA or the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) look at the issue.
"I’ve been a proponent of not shaking hands after a game for a long time. Some guys don’t like each other," Brown said. "After a game, some guy may have run up a score, some guy gets beat on a last second, no, I have felt a long time, those TV cameras love it because they run right in the face hoping somebody’s going to mess it up."
On Saturday, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin got into a verbal confrontation after Georgia's 33-28 win.
Last week, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel also abbreviated a conversation with Kansas State coach Bill Snyder after a 24-17 Missouri loss, spawning some discussion about whether Pinkel's decorum was questionable.
"I’ve always tried to walk over, say good game, good luck and get out of there as fast as I can because it’s really sensitive," Brown said. "We want great sportsmanship, but I think you’re better off calling on Monday and saying good game than in the heat of the moment because coaches are so competitive. Our jobs are on the line and when you’re standing there and you’re in the position to win the game and lose late, or if somebody scores 80 on you’re not very happy about that and you don’t want to go over and tell him good job."
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, though, says the custom is necessary, and not just for coaches.
"I think it’s important that the players see it and the fans see it. You’ve coached an emotional game. I think it’s important for players to shake hands, I think it’s important for coaches to shake hands, and it’s really embarrassing to see something like that happen in our sport," Tuberville said. "It shouldn’t happen like that. It’s not called for, because it’s all about sportsmanship and teaching younger kids that see this on TV see it happen. It’s embarrassing in this profession to see something like that happen."
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