Herbstreit Drops Bombs on OSU

April 25, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Kirk Herbstreit is one of the top college football analysts in the nation.  In my opinion, he has the best job in the nation, too.

He is also a former Ohio State quarterback and while he is objective in his analysis (or I have found him to be), everyone knows his heart still bleeds the scarlet and gray.

Which is why a few comments on Monday’s ‘College Football Live’ ESPN program got my attention.

These comments come from the twitter account of ESPN College Sports Publicist Mike Humes, and are attributed to Herbstreit:

“On @ESPNCFBLive, If OSU asked him what to do, @K_Herbstreit says he’d tell them to stop recruiting players like Clarett & Pryor”

“On @ESPNCFBLive, @K_Herbstreit says because of this in background “It would be very difficult moving forward with Jim Tressel.”

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In the words of Herbstreit’s College Gameday co-host Lee Corso, “YO!”

I didn’t see the show and have not seen a replay…when I find one I will add the clip to this item.  But if Herbstreit said things like ‘he’d tell Ohio State to stop recruiting players like Clarett and Pryor,’ I very much want to know the context in which he said that.  That statement, on its face and as it’s presented above, is a powderkeg.

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Maurice Clarett and Terrelle Pryor have brought their share of shame to Ohio State, to be sure.  But what did Herbstreit mean when he said he’d stop recruiting players LIKE those two?  Did he sense something in their lives pre-OSU that would have made him shy away from recruiting them?  Clarett was the #1 ranked prospect in the nation by some outlets and Pryor was close.  Pryor dragged out his recruitment to a point where he committed weeks after signing day amidst questions of Corvettes and other unsavory recruiting perks.  Since he signed, he has been embroiled in a scandal that will cause him to miss five games next year and it’s also ensnared his head coach Jim Tressel to the point where Herbstreit allegedly said, according to this ESPN staffer’s twitter account, that “It would be very difficult moving forward with Jim Tressel.”

In my opinion, this is possibly the most damning thing so far for Tressel, at least in the court of public opinion. It’s sort of like back in the day when President Lyndon Johnson was reported to have said, after CBS anchor Walter Cronkite was critical of him, ‘If we’ve lost Cronkite, we’ve lost middle America.’  I say this even though Herbstreit recently moved from the Columbus, Ohio area to Tennessee to get away from overzealous Ohio State fans.

If Ohio State and Jim Tressel have lost Herbstreit, or his support, Tressel really is on a slippery slope.

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Perhaps Beano Cook will turn out to be correct, saying that Tressel will be out by 2012…and that Urban Meyer will replace him.

Oh by the way: The NCAA feels Tressel lied to them.

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