There's no crying in baseball. But maybe there should be more crying in football. And hugging too.

Exhibit A: Tim Tebow.

College football players who show emotion and physical affection toward teammates are happier, according to new research. The findings, researched by psychologist Jesse Steinfeldt of Indiana University-Bloomington, and published by the American Psychological Association, found players who express sadness or extreme joy more often are gifted with a mental edge on and off the playing field.

Tim Tebow crying on the sidelines in 2009 after losing a game to Alabama at Florida was used as a reference by one researcher. An experiment found college football players who thought crying was okay had higher self-esteem than those who felt it was wrong.

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"In 2009, the news media disparaged University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow for crying on the sidelines after losing a big game, even labeling him Tim 'Tearbow,'" said psychologist Y. Joel Wong, PhD, the study's lead author. "However, the college football players in our study who believed ... crying was appropriate had higher self-esteem. In contrast, players who believed ... crying was inappropriate yet felt they would likely cry in [that] situation had lower self-esteem."

Tebow wasn't buried in the study, either. He's mentioned in the very first paragraph.

"As illustrated by the Tim Tebow incident," the report says, "men's crying behavior tends to generate considerable reactions from others, possibly because crying is assumed to violate masculine norms regarding the importance of emotional control ..."

The study also found players felt extra pressure to adapt to gender roles expecting men to show little emotion and affection in front of other men. So when this video of an embrace between Tebow and Tony Joiner hit the Web and caused an uproar, it should have been accepted as more evidence that the Heisman winner was a true leader:

The findings were reported in a special section of Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

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