Jordon rules: Players need to shake hands after games
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some people were turned off by the fact Hurricane's players - for the most part - didn't shake hands with George Washington's players following Friday's Class AAA game playoff game in South Hills.
One of them was Kanawha County school board member Becky Jordon, who voiced her displeasure about the incident on Saturday.
"That was uncalled for,'' Jordon said. "Every athlete needs to shake hands at the end of the game no matter what happened. I don't care what happened on the field.''
Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor pointed to the fact that two of his players were ejected in the waning minutes of the contest, a 35-10 GW win, and that emotions were running high on his team's sideline immediately following the game. The Redskins were in the game until GW rattled off four fourth-quarter touchdowns.
"Nothing good was going to come from us shaking hands,'' Taylor said. Taylor said he alerted both his athletic director (Gary Eggleton) and GW's AD (Shawn Wheeler) about his decision before the game ended.
"I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, but I don't want another South Charleston thing, and it's not going to happen here. We don't have players like that. The two players who were thrown out are good, exceptional student athletes. They let their emotions get the best of them. I didn't want another one of those [fights] happening.''
Hurricane and SC players fought with a few seconds remaining in their 2010 playoff quarterfinal game, prompting multiple ejections on either side and a drawn-out legal mess.
Some Redskins fans left Friday's game with hard feelings because they felt GW was running up the score.
Held scoreless for the first half, GW came out throwing the ball in the second half and kept playing wide open after taking a 21-3 lead with 7:59 left in the game. Ryan Switzer recovered his own onside kick and two plays later, Switzer caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Bell.
After a Hurricane punt, GW kept its foot on the gas. Switzer ripped off a 33-yard gain and Bell threw a 22-yard TD pass to Jordan Clay, but the latter was negated by offsetting penalties. Bell then hit Switzer with a 5-yard pass before Switzer leaped into the end zone from the 6 to make it 35-3 with 4:34 to go.
Taylor took the diplomatic approach afterward.
"His job's to score,'' he said of GW coach Steve Edwards Jr., "and our job's to stop him. I can't really say anything else about that - when he leaves guys in and does what he does. That's his job, and we didn't stop him there the last five minutes. It was a close game. That's what they do is score points, and we couldn't stop them.''
Still, Jordon saw no excuses for Hurricane's players not shaking hands afterward. Many members of the two coaching staffs exchanged handshakes, and a couple Hurricane players did eventually come across the field to shake hands before leaving the field.
"Coaches need to be held accountable if they can't get a handle on their players to shake hands,'' Jordon said. "I don't care how angry an athlete gets. Very few of them are going to earn money athletically. We need to get them to learn life's lessons about being a gentleman and moving on with life.''
Jordon pointed to the state volleyball AAA tournament on Saturday at the Civic Center, when GW beat Musselman in the finals, and players from both sides met to shake hands.
"I'm not going to see something like this again,'' Jordon said. "I talked to the assistant superintendent [in Putnam County]. I have no control over them [but] we're going to hold our coaches accountable. We're going to put a stop to this in Kanawha County for our schools. As a board member, I'm going to push that - in our county - it's a reprimand if that doesn't happen.
"I may be a dumb old mom, but I'm also a school official, and it's an embarrassment.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.