With the cloud that is COVID-19 starting to lift across the country, Kirk Herbstreit’s confidence that the college football season will happen is getting strong and stronger with each day. There was a time when ESPN’s popular college football analyst was not sure there would be a 2020 season.
But with schools such as Notre Dame and South Carolina setting dates for when students can return to campus and start in-person classes this fall, Herbstreit now anticipates there will be a college football season, though no one is sure what that will exactly look like.
Though some might believe Herbstreit has to view the whole situation through two different glasses as a parent and then as an analyst, he says that’s not the case. Besides being an analyst on ESPN’s College Game Day Show and then as Chris Fowler’s color analyst on Saturday’s Primetime Game on ABC, Herbstreit is also the father of Clemson players Jake and Tye Herbstreit.
“I really look at all the players,” Kirk Herbstreit said on SportsCenter earlier this week. “I don’t want to say that they’re my sons, but I care about them all. I don’t want to just be like, ‘For my kids, we should have these rules, but for everyone else, let’s do whatever we’ve got to do.’
“I look at everybody the same way, my two kids included.”
On Wednesday, Clemson announced a return to campus will begin on June 1 with the first of three phases. President James Clements also said the university is still planning on opening the fall semester on time and will have in-person classes.
Fall semester classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 19 at Clemson.
Herbstreit indicated his two sons are headed back to Clemson on May 31. They are heading back so they can get their things out of their apartment, which they have not been to since they left for spring break back on March 13. Their move out date at Clemson is June 2.
After they move out of their current apartment, Jake and Tye will wait and see how things continue to progress during the first two weeks of June as it pertains to when they might begin summer workouts.
The NCAA’s Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow college football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players to begin summer voluntary workouts on June 1, as long as the state and local governments, as well as conference and school officials, deem the situation at their campuses to be safe.
“I am one of these guys who trust, in this case, Dabo Swinney, his staff, his doctors, the advice they’re getting from the experts,” Herbstreit said. “I think, they’re going to err on the side of caution, but at the same time, trying to walk that fine line.”
Herbstreit understands, as an analyst and as a father, the players need to move forward. They need to start working out. They need to believe they are going to have a season and they have to start preparing for such.
As a parent, Herbstreit says he has complete trust in Clemson and in the ACC that they will do what is in the best interest of his two sons and their teammates.
“Like I said, I don’t look through two different lenses … I look at it all the same.”
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