ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit raised some eyebrows on Saturday morning when he commented on the trend of draft-eligible players opting out of bowl games. Speaking on ESPN’s College GameDay show, Herbstreit and co-host Desmond Howard were critical of players who declined to participate in bowl games, questioning their love for the game.
“I just don't understand—if you don’t make it to the playoff, how is it meaningless to play football and compete?” Herbstreit said. “Isn’t that what we do, as football players, we compete? I don’t know if expanding (the playoff) is going to change anything. I think this era of player just doesn’t love football.”
Howard chimed in afterward, criticizing players for having a sense of entitlement and not valuing the experience of playing in a bowl game.
Herbstreit’s initial remarks drew some backlash throughout the sport on social media. He later attempted to clarify his statement, saying that he did not mean for his comments to apply to football players in general.
Herbstreit and Howard’s opinions were drawn further under the microscope during the Sugar Bowl between Ole Miss and Baylor, when Rebels quarterback Matt Corral was carted off the field in the first quarter with a right leg injury. Corral is a junior who plans on declaring for the 2022 draft.
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