Though his colleague at ESPN many not feel the same way, Kirk Herbstreit has no problem with Clemson football players’ self-imposed social media ban. In fact, ESPN’s most popular college football personality loves it.
Clemson players first started their social media ban in 2011, when the seniors that season voted for it and asked the rest of the team to participate. The Tigers went on to win the first of four ACC Championships that year and since has won a national championship, while playing for another. They are 82-15 since the in-season social media ban began.
Some members of the media, especially ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell has taken issue with the idea and has called Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney out unjustly, while publically saying on Twitter he does not believe it is a player-led movement.
Herbstreit did not hesitate to give his opinion on the matter when he was asked about it during Friday’s teleconference with the media.
“I love that,” he said.
Herbstreit is the father to four boys, three of which are in high school and play football. Two are seniors and one is a sophomore.
“I am constantly talking to them about focusing on what matters most to them, especially during those months,” the college football analyst said. “Dabo Swinney, to have that many players … it is cool to have the players setting that tone. It takes it away from a coach having to do that.”
Since its social media ban tradition began, Clemson has become one of the elite college football programs in the country. Its 82-15 record is second only to Alabama in the last seven years and only Alabama and Clemson have won at least 10 games every year.
The Tigers have also taken down big-name programs like LSU, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame and yes, Alabama. They’ve beaten Oklahoma and Ohio State twice as a matter of fact.
Clemson is 46-3 at Death Valley since 2011 and 27-1 since 2014 at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
“That tradition you talked about from players saying we want all distractions out of our way. We want to focus on winning football games,” Herbstreit said. “I think that just tells you about the collective focus the program has and the older players, who are clearly not letting success or individual notoriety go to their head.
“This is a team that somehow, someway, (gets it). I wish they could sell that to everybody else, but they are not allowing complacency to set into a program … they have won double digit (games) since 2011. I mean they have been in championships it seems like every year, and you would think they would have a let up. Them and Alabama do a very good job of not letting up. Ohio State, also, is one of those schools that does not let up. It tells you a lot about the team’s self-policing.”