DESIGNATED NOTE: Today’s Designated Contributor is Nico van Thyn, our former boss, lifetime friend, recently retired scribe, Woodlawn and Louisiana Tech graduate, former SID for Centenary and executive sports editor of the Shreveport Journal, and the best in-a-fit-of-rage telephone book thrower we have ever seen.)

Look, I am all for sportsmanship and congratulating the other guy post-game if it is merited. But like so many things in athletics these days, the handshake line — and we’re talking primarily college basketball and college baseball — has become a ritual that isn’t taken seriously.

Reminds me of little kids’ games and the supposed “lesson” of greeting the other team, then running through the parents’ formed “archway” on the way to the real reward … snacks.

So watching college basketball teams, after games, form their lines and march toward and then past each other slapping hands seems pretty darned silly — and meaningless.

What is meaningful is that occasionally players do stop and hug, or exchange pleasantries (we hope) and really offer congratulations or condolences. Love it even more when the opposing coach stops a player from the other team and talks to him. I saw Rick Barnes of Tennessee and Bruce Pearl of Auburn do this recently.

But it galls me most of all when the two head coaches don’t even look at each other, simply touch right hands — it is not a real handshake — and just keep going. Yeah, they are fierce opponents and maybe they don’t really respect the other guy’s (or gal’s) ethics or opinions, but what’s the point? It’s not a show of sportsmanship, for sure.

Saw Mark Fox (Georgia) and Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M) just barely brush each other the other night after their teams’ hotly contested game. It was disgusting to me.

(Did see A&M sophomore Robert Williams, the big kid from Oil City and a dominant player who at times roughed up some of his Georgia opponents, stop and hug and say a word or two to the vanquished Bulldogs. That was nice.)

On the other hand, for about 25 years, if someone was coaching against, say, Bob Knight, I would not have blamed them for trying to avoid him — before, during and after games. And there’s a long line of coaches who could fit that (blankety-blank) category.

But for the most part, I find the handshake lines about as useful and sincere as pregame and halftime interviews with the head coaches, who so often don’t have time — or patience — for the interviewer. We can do without some things in college athletics.