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Kentucky schools want to ban handshakes
KENTUCKY -- Its a sport tradition, shaking hands at the end of a game. Now Kentucky is talking about banning this post game tradition after more than two dozen fights have broken out. A memo from the state's high school athletic association says Kentucky schools and leagues can allow handshakes but if a fight breaks out, they could face a fine. Schools in Pensacola say handshakes are a big part of sportsmanship and they aren't going anywhere.
It's been one of the greatest symbols of sportsmanship in this country. The postgame handshake. Now Kentucky is considering banning it from most high school competition because a bunch of teenagers can't control themselves.
Pensacola High School football coach Mike Bennett says hand shakes have nothing to do with the fights, the actions go back to the players. He said, "I'd get rid of those kids that were fighting, not everybody is fighting."
Bennett knows because he's been there before. Years ago, one of his players got into a fight with an opponent after a game. He said, "It happened at East Gadsen. We won the game, but lost the fight. It wasn't a pretty site, we didn't shake hands for awhile after that.
They then worked to help the players handle their emotions and show character at the end of the game. They then brought the tradition back. He said, "I think it shows character, something you should always do."
Navarre's football coach Jay Walls agrees. He says it's not always the players, the coaches are also to blame. Walls said, "I think they need to reprimand the coaches because I think that's where it starts."
A tradition that isn't going anywhere in Northwest Florida.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association commissioner is now clarifying the directive he put out yesterday. He says the KHSAA will fine schools if fights break out after the game, but hand shakes are not banned in anyway.