Oklahoma St. says no to handshake

Updated: September 4, 2009, 1:49 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Oklahoma State and Georgia will not be shaking hands at midfield prior to their game Saturday, in part because Cowboys coach Mike Gundy fears provoking an incident that can't be controlled.

Gundy Our first concern was [we'll] have 115 guys out there and they'll have 70, it just takes one guy to pop off. Then I don't know how you're going to break it up. How do you control something like that?

-- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy

"Our first concern was [we'll] have 115 guys out there and they'll have 70, it just takes one guy to pop off," Gundy said Monday at his weekly media luncheon. "Then I don't know how you're going to break it up. How do you control something like that?"

On Thursday, the school sent an e-mail saying it had decided against the handshake -- which is part of a sportsmanship initiative coming from the American Football Coaches Association -- "after much deliberation among our coaching staff."

The decision not to shake hands was thrust back into the spotlight in the aftermath of Thursday's Oregon-Boise State game, when Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount punched Boise State defensive end Bryan Hout in the face after Hout said something to Blount when the teams met at midfield after the Broncos' 19-8 win.

Blount was among the players who shook hands at midfield before the game.

"This case points out that we still need to have a commitment to sportsmanship and respect," Teaff told ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad. "It was sad as I watched, but the good news is nobody joined in. That would have been a brawl back in the day. This was one player who was frustrated and infuriated and lost control."

Teaff told Schad he understands some have and will criticize the initiative, which in part, suggested players from each team shake hands before this first weekend of games.

"I thought to myself, 'What would have happened if they hadn't shaken hands before the game?' " Teaff said. "This wasn't a fight. This wasn't a brawl. I was impressed by the coaches and players who showed restraint and self-control last night."

Teaff also addressed Gundy's decision not to have his team shake hands prior to the game.

"He believes that it would not be best for his team," Teaff said. "I hvae not spoken with him. But I've read what he said. He knows what's best for his program."

Information from ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad is included in this report.

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