SI‘s Richard Deitsch reports that Lou Holtz is out at ESPN.
SI.com learned over the weekend that ESPN has parted ways with Lou Holtz, who had been a college football studio analyst with the network since 2004 and worked most notably with host Rece Davis and analyst Mark May on ESPN’s Saturday College Football Final pregame, halftime and postgame studio coverage. Holtz was also a regular contributor to SportsCenter and ESPN Radio. The decision, according to sources, was closer to a mutual agreement between the parties than Holtz getting forced out. The 78-year-old said last May that he would retire from broadcasting after the 2014 season though at the time the network said Holtz had not informed them of such thinking.
Asked why it parted with Holtz, an ESPN spokesperson said via email: “Lou brought a champion’s perspective and a legacy of accomplishment to our coverage along with his distinctive style and humor. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best in the future.”
While the normal reaction from a college football fan with a functioning brain to news like this would be something on the order of “jeez, what took you so long, Mickey?”, Deitsch gives us a dose of unintentional hilarity with this: “There are plenty in Bristol who knew the Holtz-Mark May shtick was long past its shelf life and this is a good time to change things up.”
I don’t know how anyone up there could have gotten that impression. And I don’t have much faith that the same people in charge who thought crap like that was worth broadcasting regularly are going to do a bang up job with the retooling.