College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit announced he will not be part of the 2022 ESPN/ABC NFL Draft coverage.
The 52-year-old former Ohio State quarterback said doctors recently found a blood clot in his system.
Hey guys-wanted to update you on my situation this week. Unfortunately I won't be part of our ESPN/ABC NFL Draft coverage. Our team in Vegas will have it covered, and I will be watching.
Congrats to all the players! I love this event and look forward to returning next year. pic.twitter.com/UvBsI3TaUV
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) April 25, 2022
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to come out to Vegas and be a part of this year’s coverage. Doctors have recently found a blood clot in my system and I’m so very fortunate to have really good doctors who I trust,” Herbstreit said. “I feel good, but out of an abundance of caution, I think we’re just going to take a step back from this year’s draft coverage. … I will be watching like everybody else. Look forward to seeing all the different storylines unfold. But I will see you guys at next year’s draft. And you guys have a great week and I just wanted to fill you in on why I will not be out there at the draft this year. Take care.”
Herbstreit, who has been with ESPN for 26 years, also recently missed the call for USC’s spring game over the weekend due to undisclosed reasons, per USA Today.
Kirk Herbstreit is ESPN’s best college football color commentator and a part of the hugely successful “College GameDay” franchi. He also has branched out into NFL commentary. Generally, he is very good at what he does.
It was notable that he was scheduled to be part of the ESPN broadcast team calling USC’s spring game on Saturday. This was publicized and shared over a month ago by multiple sources, including the USC athletic department:
Kirk Herbstreit was supposed to be on the call for this game, but that didn't happen:https://t.co/6CltgtXyTz
— USC Trojans Wire (@TrojansWire) April 23, 2022
#USC announces its spring football game will be on Saturday, April 23 at noon PDT.
The game will be open to the public but will also be the only spring football game airing live on ESPN. Matt Barrie, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway and Molly McGrath will be on the call. pic.twitter.com/2SxANtzVVx
— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) March 15, 2022
The day before the spring game, it was still expected by broadcast TV Twitter accounts and industry followers that Herbie would be on the call:
Around the Dial: ESPN will have Matt Barrie, top analyst for ESPN and Amazon, Kirk Herbstreit, and Molly McGrath on the tomorrow for the USC Spring game. Game airs on ESPN and coverage starts at 3pm EDT
— Rudy Martzke (@FakeRudyMartzke) April 22, 2022
Instead, Joey Galloway and Robert Griffin III stepped in.
Trojans Wire tuned into the very start of the ESPN broadcast at noon sharp on Saturday. No on-air mention was made of a schedule adjustment or late complication that would affect Herbstreit’s schedule.
To be clear, this is not Herbstreit’s fault, but it certainly is a communications lapse by ESPN, and it doesn’t help either ESPN’s or the Pac-12’s standing before a season in which USC tries to bolster the Pac-12’s football reputation and identity.
Sports Illustrated referenced Herbstreit dipping into pro football commentary this year:
The beloved color commentator inked a multi-year extension with the company in March, a deal that includes a seat in the booth for Amazon’s new Thursday Night Football package. Herbstreit will be joined on the broadcast by legendary analyst Al Michaels, who left NBC earlier this year. The duo is set to make their debut in September.
In related news, long-time analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is unable to attend the NFL Draft since he’s unvaccinated from COVID-19.