Monday, September 7, 2009

More on the handshake, whistle

Here's a little more on the pregame handshake issue as it relates to JSU coach Jack Crowe's conversation in Monday morning's Star that morphed into a discussion on whistles blown in the stands at Georgia Tech.

The response was prompted by my question about the handshake and -- only -- knowing the volatile nature of the Miami, FSU, Florida rivalries, how explosive that could be Monday night when Miami and FSU play.

Crowe called the handshake a "good public gesture" of sportsmanship and mutual respect, but wondered how sincere it could be if it's mandated by a higher authority instead of being a spontaneous act.

"I think if the coaches set the tone, it'll be handled right," he said. "I can't believe given the atmosphere out there right now they won't take any of that for granted.

"You look at (the players) and say this is what's gonna happen, this is what you do. They're gonna do what you tell them to. You leave that space to their discretion, the other side of the personality might come out. I don't think it'll be a problem. I think both the coaches will control their teams."

As for the confusion that resulted immediately after the play with the whistle, the officiating crew conferred, met with both coaches and let the play stand. Moments later, Tech returned a Patrick Tatum punt 68 yards for a touchdown.

"They had every right to replay the down - it would have been a strong gesture," Crowe said. "I'm not discrediting the officials. I thought they were very good. It was a one of a kind situation and they decided not to confront it. They were justified in what they did. We were talking about sportsmanship. You've got the players out there trying to set the tone and it didn't carry over to the (stands)."

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