Michigan State coach Tom Izu says college basketball shouldn’t ditch the handshake streak

Any idea to rid college basketball of the traditional handshake streak in the post-game game in the wake of Sunday’s incident in which Michigan coach Joan Howard hit an opponent coach in the face would be a “farce,” Michigan State coach Tom Izu said.

The suggestion to get rid of the handshake streak came after Howard hit Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabenhoft in the face with nerves igniting after Sunday’s game.

“This to me would be the biggest farce, joke or absurd nature of anything I’ve ever heard,” Izu told reporters on Monday. “We already taught these poor 18-year-olds that when you’re asked to go to class and you don’t like it, you can leave. These kids have already told us 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 not to dress up and go in line to somebody who kicked your ass and have enough row to shake hands with them is totally ridiculous. So if the president says that, I think he’s full of that. If he says that the best coach in America, I think…that makes me more of this incident.” .

Izu said getting rid of the handshake streak would be just another “excuse” to avoid a teachable moment.

“Not shaking hands, this is typical in our country now,” Ezzo said. “Instead of solving the problem, let’s make an excuse and let’s see if we can just, instead of stand up and demand that it change, just rule it out so we don’t have those problems. Let’s try to do that.”

The Big Ten Conference announced Monday that Howard has been suspended for five games – the remainder of the regular season – and fined $40,000. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard has been fined $10,000 for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy.

Howard and Jared exchanged words in the handshake line after the Badgers won 77-63, with Howard putting his finger in Jared’s face and taking Jared’s shirt before several players and coaches surrounded him. Then Krabbenhoft came in mid-scrum and exchanged words with Howard, then Howard stretched and hit Krabbenhoft’s face.

The incident continued to rise, with players pushing and shoving. Three players were stopped after appearing to throw punches during the melee.

Izzo said it would be a mistake to throw away a college basketball tradition because of a single incident.

“It doesn’t happen here,” Ezzo said. “So if some team doesn’t want to shake hands, you’ll see 15 of my buddies walk in and shake the air. We’ll shake the air and I’ll shake the air and then we go leave.”

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