COLLEGE PARK, Md (WJZ) — A University of Maryland player was suspended for one game and the school fined $10,000 after ‘handshakegate.”
The Big Ten publicly reprimanded Maryland head football coach Randy Edsall and student-athlete Stefon Diggs after Diggs and two other teammates refused to shake hands with Penn State players before Saturday’s game. Diggs was suspended for his actions toward officials and opposing players before the game violated the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Policy.
Diggs will serve his one-game suspension on Nov. 15 against Michigan State.
The Big Ten called the Maryland players refusal to shake their Penn State opponents’ hands “exceptionally regrettable.”
“For many, many decades the intercollegiate pre-game handshake has been in place to reflect a spirit of good will and utmost appreciation for your opponent, the game and the institutions that sponsor your sport. Selection as a team captain is an honor that carries with it a greater responsibility to act in a manner consistent with those principles,” The Big Ten said in a statement.
According to the conference agreement, “The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.”
Edsall accepted the penalty Monday and took full responsibility for the team’s actions on Saturday.
“Our football program did not live up to the standards that we set for ourselves. Moving forward, we will use better judgment and remain composed so that we better represent the University of Maryland. We have learned from this experience and will take the necessary steps to make sure this does not happen again,” he said in a statement.
Diggs also apologized.
“I let my emotions get the best of me and did not properly represent myself as student-athlete and leader of the University of Maryland football team,” he said. “My behavior towards the officiating crew and the Penn State football team were unacceptable. I take accountability for my actions and will do everything I can to support my teammates in preparation for our next game against Michigan State.”
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