khsaa1 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (10/10/13) – After a highly controversial notice from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association was released Tuesday directing school districts to not participate in organized postgame handshakes, KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett has issued a statement to clarify the directive.

Tackett wrote in a blog post Wednesday that the original directive was “at best, a poorly worded and at worst, an incomplete notice.”

“First, for those who may choose to read no further, there has never been a ban or prohibition on postgame handshakes or other types of good sporting behavior by the KHSAA, its Commissioner or its Board of Control,” Tackett said at the beginning of the post in a bold and underlined font. “Nor has such a ban been proposed. There is no ban or prohibition on such activity today or contemplated for the future.”

According to the Commissioner's directive, more than two dozen incidents have occurred during postgame activity over the past three years. Tackett attributed that to lack of supervision, adding that if postgame activities are to continue, schools must be able to monitor what is going on.

“First, if schools desire to perform postgame rituals such as handshake lines, etc., they must be able to monitor the activity closely,” Tackett said, adding that schools will be held accountable for student and coach conduct going forward.

Tackett also addressed a misconception that game officials, such as referees or umpires, are responsible for monitoring what happens postgame. He said nothing could be further from the truth.

“The duties of those independent contractors needs to end as soon as their rule book jurisdiction ends, and that jurisdiction ending should not be extended by their participation in these ceremonies, or an expectation that they monitor these activities,” Tackett said.

Tackett apologized for the misconceptions. He said he takes very seriously his role to ensure clear, consices and accurate communication regarding the expectations for membership, participants, coaches, officials, and all involved.

“In haste to get the information out, the normal expected quality control steps were not executed to ensure such clarity. For that, I apologize to member schools,” Tackett said.

To view the revised directive, click here. Or, to view the entire statement from Commisioner Tackett, click here.

David Gillum
SurfKY News
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