ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit has apologized for suggesting that the University of Michigan may use the coronavirus as an excuse to “opt-out” of its game against undefeated Ohio State.
During his broadcast on Tuesday, Herbstreit said that the 2-4 Wolverines “could opt-out” of their game against rival Ohio State, and ruin the Buckeyes’ chances of qualifying for the conference championship game.
“I still think Michigan waves the white flag, potentially avoids playing Ohio State next week, and then they’ll potentially get a game on the 19th,” Herbstreit said. “Michigan could opt out, basically, of that game, and keep Ohio State out of six games to qualify for the Big Ten championship. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Apparently, the blowback was quick because only an hour later, Herbstreit was apologizing on Twitter for offering the suggestion.
“I had no business at all saying that. I have no evidence of that. It was completely unfair to the University of Michigan, to Jim Harbaugh, to his players and coaches, and I just wanted to apologize,” Herbstreit said in a video posted to the social media site.
“I think we all go through some ups and downs, many downs for a lot of people during this COVID crisis that we’re all in,” the ESPN analyst added. “For me, in college football, I really struggle with where we are. Players opting out, teams canceling games, it just seems like it’s a downward spiral.
“I think, typically I try to remain positive and upbeat, and I think sometimes we all have our breaking points and right now, at Week 14 with so much negativity surrounding the sport, I think that’s sometimes a pressure point for me,” he said.
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) December 2, 2020
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.