It’s been a while since ol’ Herbie’s showed his ass.
“I still think,” Herbstreit volunteered, “Michigan waves the white flag and doesn’t play Ohio State next week.”
That was a jaw-dropper of an assertion—that a team would use a COVID-19 excuse to avoid playing its biggest rival, while simultaneously knocking said hated rival out of eligibility for the Big Ten championship game. And he threw in the “white flag” surrender metaphor for added style points. That sound you heard was Bo Schembechler rumbling out of the grave in a rage, ready to haunt Herbstreit for implying that his program is chicken.
Anchor Rece Davis smartly and quickly went back at Herbstreit, asking him if that is indeed what he was implying.
Herbstreit began to double down, albeit more generally. He said he’s heard from coaches who believe losing teams are using the virus to avoid “being humiliated” on the field.
No names, mind you. And a little later, he backtracked.
About an hour later, Herbstreit issued a video apology on Twitter: “I had no business at all saying that. I have no evidence of that. It was completely unfair to Michigan, to Jim Harbaugh, to his players and coaches, and I just want to apologize.”
Forde goes on to credit Herbstreit with “a beloved spot in the sport, and that apology is consistent with who he is”, but the apology isn’t all that’s consistent with who he is. Herbstreit’s run his mouth here and there over the years with off the cuff observations like that. Just ask Georgia fans.