Controversy after KHSAA post-game handshake announcement

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's shaken up social media and even grabbed attention around the country. Earlier this week the Kentucky High School Athletic Association recommended teams avoid post-game handshakes if they can't monitor what's going on.

The commissioner talked to us about the enormous response that decision has received on social media.

Taking the field tensions were high Friday night at the Scott County and Henry Clay High School football game. Both teams were undefeated until Friday night. And it was the first night of high school football since the KHSAA's recommendation regarding post-game handshakes.

"We have had more discussion in the past 36 hours or so of sportsmanship than we have had in the last 36 years," said Julian Tackett, the KHSAA commissioner.

It's an announcement that created a firestorm of controversy in the media and also social media.

"It was misinterpreted," said Tackett. "We had a little bit of a problem with a couple media outlets, and it got in social media. You talk about hitting the rewind button. It was a true lesson in the difference in today and when I started 30 years ago."

People tweeting what a disgrace it was, having read headlines that said post-game handshakes were banned. It's a big misunderstanding, according to the KHSAA commissioner.

"Without a doubt, it was simply don't change a thing. If you're shaking hands as a group, fine. If you're shaking hands as individuals, fine," said Tackett. "But don't ever forget to supervise what's going on."

Three years ago at a Scott County versus Lafayette High School football game, WKYT caught an example on tape of what has gone wrong during post-game handshakes as a fight broke out. The KHSAA has reported more than two dozen incidents like that one in the past three years.

That's not what happened Friday night. Humble in victory and gracious in defeat is the way the two teams acted Friday night, having no trouble post-game.

"I think the KHSAA does a good job making coaches aware of what's going on, and I think things are going in the right direction," said Gary Ball, the host of the Scholastic Ball Report.

You can see the entire interview with Julian Tackett on Kentucky Newsmakers, which airs at 6 a.m. Sunday and then repeats at 10 a.m. on the CW Lexington.

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