Kirk Herbstreit doesn’t properly grasp why the NCAA Football series is gone

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 12:15 pm


ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who appeared as a commentator in the NCAA Football series from 2001-2013, is upset that the NCAA Football series no longer exists. In an interview that has just gone out he places all the blame on Ed O’Bannon, and expresses the belief that the series should return under the same conditions from the past. Check out a summary of his comments and why he is off-base with them over at Sporting News.

O’Bannon is the face of the class action suit that led to the cancellation of NCAA Football, but he absolutely should not be singled out as the reason for it. This was going to happen sooner or later and O’Bannon initially wasn’t even the one challenging current player likenesses, but rather the inclusion of historic player likenesses without any approval or compensation.

Herbstreit’s main argument is one you’ve heard before, that the players all want to be in the game and don’t care about being paid for it. That’s easy to say for those who wouldn’t really be able to capitalize on their likeness even if allowed to do so, but clearly wouldn’t apply to the Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel type of players from years past. It’s the college athletes who move merchandise and are promoted on television broadcasts that are the ones primarily getting screwed over by the NCAA, at least as far as making money off their names, but obviously there are many others who contribute to a product that generates billions of dollars every year who are being exploited in the process.

Ultimately his opinion on the matter means nothing at this point. Just because a lot of people want something doesn’t mean it will happen or even can. A new college football video game won’t happen until the legal matters are finally exhausted and a system is devised to pay for player likenesses. Read up on the situation, how we got here and what it would take for college games to return, and also check out the latest Press Row Podcast on the subject.