Kirk Herbstreit Addresses College Football Players After Bowl Game Opt-Out Comments

by Chase Thomas

The college football world has changed a lot in recent years. Like technology, a lot has changed rather quickly for a lot of folks in a very short amount of time. With NIL, the transfer portal, increasingly higher recruiting budgets, and conference realignment, it’s a lot to keep up with the sport so many folks across America love. There was also the addition of the College Football Playoff. Since the CFP was added to the season to replace the BCS, that meant Bowl Season in college football was going to change. It was going to take a hit. It was part of the deal when you add a playoff slate. Well, Kirk Herbstreit commented on some of what that has meant for bowls, like game opt-outs, and he recently clarified his college football bowl game-opt-out comments.

The CFB analyst went on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take to address his comments. He told the guys at Pardon My Take, “If I had to apologize to anybody, it would be to the current players.” He continued, “I really regret not being clear in my comments to be able to make these players know how much I love them and appreciate them.”

Previously about the game opt-outs, Herbstreit said, “Isn’t that what we do as football players, we compete? I don’t know if changing it, expanding (the playoffs) is going to change anything, I really don’t. I think this era of player just doesn’t love football.”

What It Means Going Forward

It was a miscommunication between Herbstreit and the players. He was not trying to stir the pot or upset any current players. He clearly cares about the players, he was one himself and has sons who have played college football as well. Kirk wanted to clear up how much he does love them and how much he cares about the sport. The conversation around bowl season and opt-outs is complicated, and there is no unanimous opinion on how to make it better.

Kirk added, “I’m more than willing to listen and evolve with the times.” He knows his comments did not go over well, but he’s not running from them and welcomes the opportunity to speak with folks on the matter.

Rece Davis on Kirk Herbstreit

Rece, Kirk’s College GameDay colleague tweeted in support of the former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback this week. Davis wrote, “Early podcast with @davidpollack47. Cover a lot of ground. @KirkHerbstreit comments should be taken in entirety with his on-air clarification -not just one sentence. He cares about players-after all he’s father to players- cares about the sport. He isn’t motivated by (1/2).”

Rece Davis continued, “any business agenda. Disagree with any of us. Fair enough. In my judgment, some reactions were transparent attempts to latch on to Kirk’s platform to gain attention. Part of the deal I guess. But the convo should be evaluated fairly in its entirety.”

It was a strong defense of Kirk and his true feelings towards the sport and its players. He encourages folks to examine his comments as a whole and not rush to judgment on his perspective.