Did Kirk Herbstreit cost Ohio State a chance at an elite recruit?
It sure looks like it, though that was almost certainly not his intention.
SPORTS TODAY: Marvin Lewis still wants to coach football edition
The good news for the former Buckeye and Centerville High School star: Everyone is going to blame the NCAA anyway.
Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern, reported Tuesday morning an open records request had revealed the Buckeyes had to stop recruiting Micah Parsons, a five-star defensive end from Harrisburg, Pa., because of improper benefits he received on a visit to campus in September.
While on a campus tour led by football recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger, the recruit met Herbstreit on the show’s set, took a photo with two College GameDay analysts who are not former Ohio State players — believed to be [Lee] Corso and [Rece] Davis — while sitting on-stage, and met [Eddie] George off the set, according to the records. Though recruits on official visits are able to speak with former student-athletes of the school they are visiting, they are not allowed to “have contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes.”…
According to the records, [OSU staffer Ed] Terwilliger allowed the recruit and his parents to enter College GameDay’s production area in front of the set, which is inaccessible to the public. The group was then given credentials by a producer of the show. The action is regarded as an improper benefit by the NCAA, and was self-reported by Ohio State.
Urban Meyer is likely to sign the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, but the coach of the Buckeyes could use another defensive end or two to replenish depth that will be lost to graduation this winter.
Herbstreit responded to the news Tuesday night via Twitter.
Although he assumed the person he took his picture with was a recruit, he didn’t know who it was.
To be crystal clear-I can assure you @EddieGeorge2727 & I HAD NO IDEA who we took a picture with that day. He came on the set at a commercial break & asked for a picture with Eddie and I. I assumed he must be a recruit but had no idea who he was or what he was doing. Ridiculous!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) December 20, 2017
And beyond that, he said he takes pictures with recruits (and no doubt numerous other people) nearly every week on the various campuses College GameDay visits.
No clue. Kind of busy from 9-12pm on Saturdays. Had no idea he was gonna stop by or that he was gonna pop up on set. When he asked for a picture I said sure. I take pictures with recruits on nearly every campus every Saturday. https://t.co/0oERKBmyra— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) December 20, 2017
Of course, that “admission,” if one wants to call it that, could open up a whole new can of worms at a variety of schools, but it’s unlikely that was Herbstreit’s intention.
The larger point would be these types of interactions are probalby harmless in the grand scheme of things, and the NCAA shouldn’t bother policing them.
Wednesday marks the beginning of the first early signing period for college football prospects.
Most of the area’s top players are set to sign national letters of intent, including Fairfield offensive tackle Jackson Carman.
The five-star prospect has Ohio State in his final three with USC and Clemson.