Louisville (WDRB) -- The Kentucky High School Athletic Association issued a clarification Wednesday on Tuesday's directive against post-game handshakes. Commissioner Julian Tackett reiterated that there was never a ban on the ritual as had been reported by some outlets.
"As the document states, the schools continue to have the option to have postgame handshakes as always, provided they are properly supervised," said Tackett. "That was the first part of two main intentions. The first was to reinforce the requirement for supervision. So the directive to the member schools is simple. Don't do it unless you can properly supervise it. And if you don't supervise it (or if you do and problems occur) then you will be held accountable."
"Secondly and just as critical," Tackett continued, "don't expect the officials to police this time period. That has never been the officials job at the high school level, and shouldn't be now."
JCPS Director of Activities and Athletics Jerry Wyman and Assistant Superintendent Kirk B. Lattimore sent an email to principals and athletic directors Wednesday saying that JCPS has not experienced any major problems during handshakes following athletic contests, that they will continue to honor the tradition of shaking hands after events and that it is the responsibility of each school to ensure that these acts of sportsmanship at the end of games are closely monitored by coaches and event staff.
Emphasizing a "Character First" theme, the email also said, "Interscholastic sports are an extension of the classroom and different than other sports' programs. Teaching our students to win and lose graciously are life lessons that we hope and expect coaches to embrace. Please have conversations with all coaches today. Remind them of their responsibilities."
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