Prior to Saturday’s game between South Carolina and Kentucky, Gamecock team captains chose not to shake hands with their Kentucky counterparts at the pregame coin flip. A day after Kentucky topped the Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp issued an apology to Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops.
“That just fired us up even more,” Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson said, according to The State. “Gave us even more motivation, which was pretty stupid on their part, but they just didn’t want to shake our hands.”
In addition to extending the apology to Stoops, Muschamp told reporters his team captains will shake hands with their counterparts moving forward. It is unknown if the SEC will weigh in with any discipline for the lack of sportsmanship. But was South Carolina solely responsible for the handshake incident? Not according to South Carolina radio reporter Langston Moore, who seemed to pit some of the blame on Johnson.
Stoops had commented after the game about South Carolina’s captains not shaking hands with his captains, but at least one voice says there was blame to spread around. Two sides to every story, of course.
The bottom line is this is a good teaching moment if you believe in good sportsmanship. Shake hands. It’s not that hard.