ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit gives his thoughts on a lot of hot takes in college football. But there’s one theory that’s been out for a long time that he really doesn’t have the patience for.
On Sunday, Herbstreit took umbrage with a Twitter user who accused the media of being overly critical of black head coaches – specifically, Willie Taggart and Charlie Strong during their stints with FSU and Texas respectively. Herbstreit said that plenty of coaches have been getting calls to be fired for years – regardless of their skin color.
“Why you keep comin at me?!?” Herbstreit said in a retweet. “Don’t even know you- You don’t know me! Willie and Charlie are friends of mine. But to your point..don’t tell (Michigan’s) Jim Harbaugh or (USC’s) Clay Helton that. They’ve been dealing with people wanting them fired for years. Or (former Auburn HC) Gus Malzahn who dealt with it for years.”
Herbstreit’s comments may not satisfy those who wanted a more definitive answer on the issue, but they don’t need to. He’s a TV analyst, not a sociologist.
Why you keep comin at me?!?
Don’t even know you-You don’t know me!
Willie and Charlie are friends of mine.
But to your point..don’t tell Jim Harbaugh or Clay Helton that. They’ve been dealing with people wanting them fired for years. Or Gus Malzhan who dealt with it for years. https://t.co/bcwZtLxYUq
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) July 18, 2021
Charlie Strong had three straight losing seasons at Texas and lost his only bowl game. That’s a fireable offense for most coaches at any Power Five program, let alone one as prominent as Texas.
Willie Taggart went 9-12 in 1.5 seasons with the Seminoles. While Taggart was subjected to serious racial abuse online during his tenure, few will deny that FSU appeared to be on the wrong trajectory when he was fired.
Are there lingering racial biases in college football? Most likely. Do those biases factor into the expectations around some head coaches? Possibly.
Is Kirk Herbstreit the person to go to with issues like that? No he is not.