Kirk Herbstreit, who is one of the top analysts and color commentators in college football, says college stars skipping bowl games don’t love football.
It makes sense that ESPN analyst and color commentator Kirk Herbstreit would have such a strong take about star players playing in meaningless college football bowl games.
ESPN obviously paid a lot of money for these games to be broadcast on their networks, and Herbstreit obviously is directly affected by ESPN’s bottom line.
But Herbstreit’s recent take on those players who make business decisions to opt-out of bowl games is out of touch and over the line.
Kirk Herbstreit shared an awful take on players who skip meaningless bowl games
It is really a shame to hear big talking heads like Herbstreit, who played at Ohio State once upon a time, take this kind of stance against the players who have a legitimate shot of playing on Sundays in the NFL.
To say the players who opt out of bowl games don’t love the game?
That is preposterous.
Even with the new NIL allowances that the NCAA has made for players, there are few college football players — if any at all — who have as comfortable of a paycheck as Kirk Herbstreit does with ESPN.
Now, Herbstreit certainly works hard for that paycheck, and he has to cover some of these games whether certain players decide to opt out or not. He clearly believes that these players should go out and throw the dice on their futures so they can play in games like the VRBO Citrus Bowl, or the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
By the way, no one is going to care who played in those games two weeks from now.
Selfishly, these bowl games are a great opportunity to get one more shot to scout certain players who are coming up to the professional level. Selfishly, fans of certain college teams certainly want their team to win, and the best players playing certainly gives them the best chance to do that.
Selfishly, Kirk Herbstreit is calling out every single player opting out of a bowl game because why? Because he played in them?
Over time, players have seen the potential cost of playing in these games. Remember how great Jake Butt was in college at Michigan? What was that bowl game he played in for his last game with the Wolverines against Florida State? What were the stakes?
It turns out, the stakes were Butt’s entire NFL career, which was derailed by a knee injury he suffered against Florida State.
As I’m typing this post, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum was just lying on his back and taken into the medical tent for examination. This is a player who is widely expected to be a top-20 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The decision of draft-eligible players to play in bowl games that aren’t actual playoff games is bordering on foolishness at this point. That’s not a reflection of a player’s “love” for the game. It’s the fact that these players want to take care of themselves and their families by playing football beyond just one game sponsored by AllState or Chick Fil A.
Herbstreit is someone who should really have these athletes’ backs in these types of decisions, but unfortunately, he’s only making himself look like an absolute fool who is out of touch.