Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says college basketball shouldn't get rid of handshake line

Any idea to rid college basketball of the traditional postgame handshake line in the wake of Sunday's incident involving Michigan coach Juwan Howard striking an opposing coach in the face would be a "farce," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

The suggestion to do away with the handshake line has come up after Howard hit Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face as tempers flared following Sunday's game.

"That, to me, would be the biggest farce, joke, ridiculous nature of anything I've ever heard of," Izzo told reporters 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.

"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 getting rid of the handshake line would just be another "excuse" to avoid a teachable moment.

"Not shaking hands, that's typical of our country right now," Izzo said. "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."

Howard was suspended five games -- the remainder of the regular season -- and fined $40,000, the Big Ten Conference said Monday. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for violating the conference's sportsmanship policy.

Howard and Gard exchanged words in the handshake line following the Badgers' 77-63 victory, with Howard putting his finger in Gard's face and grabbing Gard's shirt before being surrounded by several players and coaches. Krabbenhoft then came over in the middle of the scrum and exchanged words with Howard, and Howard then reached out and struck Krabbenhoft's face.

The incident continued to elevate, with players pushing and shoving. Three players have been suspended after appearing to throw punches during the melee.

But to do away with one of college basketball's traditions because of one incident would be a mistake, Izzo said.

"That's not happening here," Izzo said. "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."