The great handshake debate

Athens –  You never know what the hot topic will be three days before a big football game, do you? At Georgia’s post-practice media session Wednesday night, handshakes were the most popular  conversation piece — specifically, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s concern that pregame handshakes among the teams Saturday could lead to brawl.

Gundy’s reservations drew varying reactions from Georgia players. Joe Cox said he could see the potential for something bad to happen. Rennie Curran said there was nothing to worry about. See their comments here.

In any case, Oklahoma State  has decided to forgo the pregame handshakes requested as a sportsmanship gesture by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) at all season-opening games this weekend.  Oklahoma State’s decision was made “after much deliberation among our coaching staff,”  OSU associate athletics director Kevin Klintworth said in an e-mail.

Gundy earlier this week expressed doubts about the AFCA’s handshake initiative, fearing that the convergence of 175 or so fired-up players for pregame handshakes at midfield could lead to trouble.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Wednesday night that the decision  was up to Oklahoma State as the home team. “We’ll do whatever they decide,” he said. And they have decided.

Richt said Georgia had answered “we’d be happy to do it” in response to an AFCA survey about the handshake idea, but he drew a line after season openers.

“If you started trying to do it every single game, I think things could get heated in certain rival games, yeah,” Richt said.

While Georgia and Oklahoma State are not exactly rivals, their matchup  is not a typical season-opener type of game, either.  Both teams are nationally ranked — Oklahoma State No. 9 and Georgia No. 13 — and the Cowboys want to avenge  their 35-14 loss to the Dogs in Sanford Stadium two years ago.

“Everybody knows how they were talking after the game, saying that they didn’t come ready to play and thought they were outcoached and outplayed,” Cox said, “and nobody wants to play again and have the same feeling after the game. So they’re going to be focused and fired up, and I’m sure the last thing on their mind is meeting at midfield and shaking hands before the game.”

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Now,  on to a couple other topics of interest from Wednesday night at Butts-Mehre:

– The biggest news, although pretty much a foregone conclusion, of Georgia’s travel list for the Oklahoma State game was that  Caleb King is not on it because of the pulled hamstring that has sidelined him since Aug. 12.  Twelve true freshmen are on the list:  receivers Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, tight ends Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch, tailback Washaun Ealey, quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger,  defensive backs Branden Smith and Shawn Williams, defensive end Montez Robinson, defensive tackle Abry Jones and linebacker Mike Gilliard. Most of the freshmen making the trip, although not the quarterbacks, are expected to play.

– Richt said he’s changing  his longstanding in-season practice schedule. For the first time since he’s been at Georgia, the Bulldogs will practice on Sunday nights and take off on Mondays, rather than vice versa. Richt  thinks the advantages of the new schedule will include allowing the team to “finish up” film review of the preceding game on Sundays and “switch gears” to the next opponent on Tuesdays,  rather than doing a bit of both on Mondays. He also said this setup will give assistant coaches all day Monday and half a day Tuesday “before they have to present a plan  [for the next game], which they think will help them.” Richt said the schedule — practicing/meeting the day after a game, then taking the following day off –  is patterned after the NFL model.  “My brother-in-law, Brad Johnson, who played in the league for 18 years, said he really liked the schedule as a player,” Richt said.

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And one item from earlier in the day:

–   Asked about a recent report that Michigan routinely exceeds NCAA limits on how much time football teams can devote to practice and other required activities, Richt said Georgia closely monitors its compliance with the rule. He  said John Eason, now Georgia’s director of football operations and formerly an assistant coach, long has scheduled the Bulldogs’ practices. Richt said he gets the schedule from Eason about a week in advance “to make sure the plan is set and that we are staying in compliance.”

Richt added: “Gosh, our compliance director has got a big window and can look out and watch us [practice], so they are well aware of what’s going on. We do a good job.”

70 comments Add your comment

Douglas

September 3rd, 2009
6:24 am

I cannot believe that the coaches have no more control over their players than that. How sad. They can’t control themselfs long enough to shake hands….its a pity

1970Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
6:32 am

I think it’s a wise choice to skip the handshakes. It just takes one spark to ignite a bad incident which would totally counterproductive to the sportmanship they’re trying to display. As far as Caleb King, I’ve been hearing comments about his being soft and unwilling to play hurt. I think these comments are unfair and being made out of ignorance. Nobody can judge someone else’s pain. Give the guy a break.

Saint Simons

September 3rd, 2009
6:37 am

Enter your comments here

Saint Simons

September 3rd, 2009
6:41 am

I just wanted to apologize to all you Bulldogs for rubbing it in about
last year’s GT victory. I guess I was so tired of getting worn out every year that I made too big of a deal out of a 3 point victory. If there are any Dawg players reading this, please don’t take it out on our yeller jakets this year

So who says...

September 3rd, 2009
6:49 am

…you can’t teach an old Bulldawg new tricks? Richt’s change up of the practice schedule is a positive for all – we will see if that carries over to Willie M. if the game is a blow-out on Saturday!

Ramblin Rick

September 3rd, 2009
7:23 am

Will the UGA players take off their brass knuckles for the handshake? THUGS!

JB

September 3rd, 2009
7:39 am

Douglas, have you ever played football. Those guys have been worked up to a fever pitch right before kick off by the coach’s and it’s not a good time for exchanging pleasantries. They are 18-19 years old. they are coached to be very physical. it’s as much mental to do that as physical. don’t soften the moment.

Saint Simons

September 3rd, 2009
7:43 am

I’m away from my computer right now getting a brazilian wax and then taking a walk through some of the local parks. I will return soon.

DawgFan

September 3rd, 2009
8:24 am

Shaking hands before the game is the most idiotic thing to do before a game. Both teams are amped up for kickoff and are preparing to hit someone as hard as they can… not shake a hand. After the game is fine IMO if they choose to do that.

NewnanDawg

September 3rd, 2009
8:34 am

Anyone with any football sense knows that a pregame handshake in the first game between ranked opponents is not a good plan. There are over 150 18-22 year olds out there as jacked up as possible to go out and try to knock the crap out of people shortly thereafter. No matter how good the kids are or how great their coach is, it’s just dumb. You shake hands after the game.

I hope Caleb gets better soon. I like the different styles of him, Samuel and Thomas. Looking forward to seeing these freshman play…….

The schedule change is perfect. I’ve been saying for a long time that the team needs to be grounded again by coaching within 24 hours of a game, win or lose.

Finally, the Michigan thing is obviously players having a problem with Rodriguez; the practice thing is just what they came up with to throw him under the bus. Haven’t something like 20+ players left that program since he got there?

Let’s play some football already. Go Dawgs!

SimpleDawg

September 3rd, 2009
8:44 am

The pregame handshake is a stupid idea. It was probably suggested by some academic namby-pamby moron like Myles Brand who absolutely has no understanding of what’s involved in preparing for a very physical collision sport.

Just plain stupid.

JB

September 3rd, 2009
8:45 am

I’ve never heard of such a thing, over and above the captains doing it, at the coin toss. There’s no need.

HBTD!!!

Saint Simons

September 3rd, 2009
8:52 am

45 – 42 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

tenn.DAWG

September 3rd, 2009
9:36 am

Yeah,that makes sense,backing a Rabid Dawg foaming at the mouth in the corner of a hostile environment and asking it to extend its paw.What were they thinking?

Okie Clem

September 3rd, 2009
9:40 am

The AFCA is nuts! Handshakes might be alright for Little League or Junior High. College team captains shake hands when they meet with the referee at mid-field for the coin toss. They represent the teams.

WNC DAWG

September 3rd, 2009
9:41 am

SS must think we are stupid. Get a life and get off this blog.

Dawgmess

September 3rd, 2009
9:41 am

Shaking hands before the game!!! Sounds like Jimmy Carter is running the AFCA.

Mike Gundy

September 3rd, 2009
9:54 am

Why would we want to shake hands with a bunch of guys who are getting ready to kick our @ss?

Frank Howard

September 3rd, 2009
9:59 am

Maybe them cowboys oughta rub Willies bald head for good luck like them Clempsun boys rub my rock instead of shaking hands……..

Miami Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
10:05 am

It’ll be interesting to see how the first couple of plays unfold. I can see the game getting pretty chippy real fast. Only two more days…

http://collegefootballsaturday.blogspot.com/

Pulpwood Smith

September 3rd, 2009
10:05 am

Where have we come to when players can’t even shake hands before a game? The captains always do this at midfield. With all the celebratory crap that goes on these days in football after run-of-the-mill plays, I think the reintroduction of some level of sportsmanship into the game has been a long time coming. Mike Gundy and OSU ought to be ashamed of themselves. Shaking hands with the opponent before a match is not going to have any bearing whatsoever on one’s level of intensity once the ball kicks. Pathetic really.

JaxDawg

September 3rd, 2009
10:35 am

Good call on the no handshake. The players on both sides are going to be amped up ready to go out and destroy each other, and they’re expected to simply put those emotions aside to shake hands?

alphadawg

September 3rd, 2009
11:01 am

38 – 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

Mutts-R-Stupid-especially-journalism-majors

September 3rd, 2009
11:23 am

If the mutts ALL promise not to hump anyone’s leg, at least not on national tv, then I guess a pre game handshake between the teams is ok…but remember, no humping, U ugly mutts.

OrangeCowboy

September 3rd, 2009
11:32 am

Funny how the tone on here has changed dramatically just since yesterday. Yesterday, almost everybody on here was slamming Gundy, saying he was “unstable” or “crazy”, saying he was “encouraging thuggery”, “wound too tight”, etc. Now that one of the AJC writers and your own QB (and Richt even said it might not be a good idea on big rivalry games) have come out and agreed it’s not a great idea, most of you on here are agreeing with the decision.

Pulpwood-Before you get too righteous, just remember the home team apparently makes the call on this. Next home game UGA has (South Carilina?) let’s see if Richt and UGA decide to have a pre-game handshake or not.

RanDawg

September 3rd, 2009
11:33 am

-I wonder if Gundy isn’t playing with our minds a little here.He knows that last year we were one ot the most penalized teams in the country.Maybe…by making his statement,he is hoping it will lead to 2 or 3 extra penalties in the game as a result of bringing up this “fighting” issue.I hope I’m wrong…

Texas Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
11:34 am

Little blurb from the Fort Worth Star Telegram attributed to Oklahoma State linebacker Andre Sexton, ” We’re a lot more confident in our ability than we were two years ago, GEORGIA’S the ONE THAT”S GOT TO BE SCARED, not us.” Ha

Steve Superior

September 3rd, 2009
11:41 am

Well boys, I wonder if ya’ll want to shake hands with my boys next week? You had better be nice if you don’t want us to hang a half dollar on you. I’m calling the plays this year so the sky is the limit as to how much we score on Willie’s boys.

Burdell

September 3rd, 2009
11:55 am

There goes Mr. Nice Guy again…worrying about how his players will like the new schedule.

“My brother-in-law, Brad Johnson, who played in the league for 18 years, said he really liked the schedule as a player,” Richt said.

Yeah, as an NFL player you dope. College football is not the NFL and vice versa. Ask Chan Gailey, Booby Petrino, Pete Carroll…

Burdell

September 3rd, 2009
11:57 am

Alphadawg– Way to let your opponents do you bidding….that’s pathetic. 45-42.

Duke

September 3rd, 2009
12:03 pm

Our D-Line and Linebackers will get pressure all day. Should be something like 31-14 us

Dawg Fud

September 3rd, 2009
12:14 pm

ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

takedowndawg

September 3rd, 2009
12:42 pm

JB,you’re right. Traditional captain handshake and that’s it!!!!. Anymore than that reflects of political like correctness, akin to men” needing to get in touch with their feminine side.” What a crock! Civility=clean hardnose football with no cheap shots physically nor trash talking during the game. Football is planned, controlled, aggression on a girdiron between twenty two players and their coaches. NCAA don’t sissy it up please. Go DAWGS!!!!!!

1eyedJack

September 3rd, 2009
12:48 pm

No hand shaking before the game. I want our guys looking like Mike Singletary or Dick Butkus.

Mutts-R-Stupid-especially-journalism-majors

September 3rd, 2009
1:20 pm

Hump Joe, Hump

Mack C

September 3rd, 2009
1:27 pm

Ok state is scared to shake hands because they know we are going to beat down on the field they dont want to get their buts kicked twice in one day. They have no defense and cant hang the sec. Go Dawgsw. No hand shaking in the words of Kellen Winslow jr this is war. They are soilders.

Old Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
1:40 pm

How can they shake hands with us when most of them are in hand-cuffs?

NewnanDawg

September 3rd, 2009
1:41 pm

Orange Cowboy – Gundy does seem wound tight, etc. with the recent off field issues, pushing the media out, etc. However, he is right on the handshake; he just didn’t use the best phrase when describing the problem. He was on 790 today and presented a much better argument against it that I also agree with – the pregame routine is scheduled for both teams down to the second when you are dealing with national tv. Trying to put in a handshake ritual with that many people doesn’t make sense with the time constraints.

Let the captains go out as usual and everyone can shake hands after the game. Lots of these teams still have a midfield prayer together after the game. It’s just not talked about in our mainstream P.C. (alias for way left) media. Pulpwood obviously loves them.

Go Dawgs!

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2009
1:44 pm

MRS EJM,

Dinner is burning. Your husband called though, he has decided to work late. More for you!

Steve Superior-After NC State mashes you into the turf, come on down to Athens and get your 4th whipping in 5 tries vs the Dawgs. We will be glad to shake your hand after the beatdown.

Bubba Gump

September 3rd, 2009
2:04 pm

Im calling Dawgs 3 OSU 2 in a ‘defensive battle’.

Mutts-R-Stupid-especially-journalism-majors

September 3rd, 2009
2:07 pm

AT UGAY, is leg humping considered fore play?

Atlanta1

September 3rd, 2009
2:15 pm

Have you heard anything about the rumor that the OSU QB is going to be out for the game against the Dawgs? I have heard from a couple of people that BODOG closed the line on the game yesterday afternoon because of the speculation.

Mutts-R-Stupid-especially-journalism-majors

September 3rd, 2009
2:21 pm

Instead of a hand shake, maybe they could just hump each others leg?

Kim

September 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

So, Okies don’t want to shake hands with UGA? Maybe they’re afraid UGA will win the coin toss & the whole team will run out for a “celebration” – even though Richt only told the offense to???

OrangeCowboy

September 3rd, 2009
2:50 pm

NewnanDawg-I agree this whole handshake thing has been blown way out of proportion. I agree Gundy could have phrased it better, but if you go on Newsok.com and watch the video of his press conference, you will see that it was a very off-the-cuff answer. It was literally the very last question of the news conference and he sort of answered it as he was walking off. But, you will see he really wasn’t making any big deal about it and certainly wasn’t encouraging his players to take part in any “thuggery” as some on here were proclaiming yesterday. You will also see that Gundy really appears pretty relaxed about the whole game coming up. Folks (especially in the media) tend to overreact any time Gundy says anything the least bit controversial because of the “rant” two years ago. Most of us here condider that old (VERY old) news. Gundy is not like that all the time as many would have you believe.

shankit

September 3rd, 2009
3:07 pm

Ask any college referee if this is a good idea, and I am sure
they will say NO>
Especially if it is a bitter rival, say as, MIami vs. Florida STate
Florida vs. FSU, or even Georgia vs. Fla.
Example – At a coin toss between Miami vs. ???, one of the
Cane players refused to shake hands with the opponent and
stated “we don’t need no coin toss, let them MF’s have their
choice, we gwine kick them MF”S arse either way.”
TRUE STORY

takedowndawg

September 3rd, 2009
4:13 pm

M.A.S.-esp. JMajors, What is your apparent infuation with the humping of dogs? You probably were molested by an overly aggressive chichuachua puppy who humped you as a child and you just “can’t” or “won’t get over it. Fortunately, there are pychiatrists who specialize in such disorders such as yours! Good luck.

Miami Dawg

September 3rd, 2009
4:23 pm

Tim,

Does UGA put out anything like this the week before the game? I got this off your Oklahoma State counterpart and thought it would be a great read if we have one.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/okst/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/weekly-release.pdf

Thanks!

WatsonOne

September 3rd, 2009
4:50 pm

Saint Simons, you must be really limited. It seems that you aren’t able to communicate very well. The 45-42 is old hat. Actually you need to win more than one in a row before you start bragging. If the NATS wins on 11/29, then you can brag.

NewnanDawg

September 3rd, 2009
5:07 pm

OC -Scary – I think I agree with an opponent fan 2 days before game day. Obviously, Gundy is not the loon portrayed in the rant. He just hasn’t handled the recent media attention with the same relaxed demeanor that Richt has. However, you could argue that Richt had the same anxious behavior last year with our hype. Should be a great game that really lets both programs know where they are.

Go Dawgs!