Kirk Herbstreit addresses GameDay imbroglio involving Ohio State, 5-star recruit, NCAA violations
Tuesday, a report surfaced that Ohio State was forced to halt its pursuit of five-star 2018 prospect Micah Parsons after the football program self-reported NCAA violations. The violations were connected to Parsons’ on-campus visit in September when he was invited on the set of ESPN‘s College GameDay show, which was in Columbus for the Oklahoma game.
The producer of the show gave Parsons and his family credentials, which is a violation because it’s considered an extra benefit. Parsons also took photos with a pair of former OSU football players -- GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit and Eddie George -- along with on-air talent Rece Davis and Lee Corso. The interaction and photos taken with the former Buckeyes didn’t constitute a violation; the fact that Davis and Corso were involved did as recruits are barred from having “contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes.”
As a result of the violations, OSU self-imposed penalties, including agreeing to stop its recruitment of Parsons as well as declaring him ineligible for an unknown amount of time should he sign with the Buckeyes.
Tuesday night, an incredulous Herbstreit took to Twitter to address the situation.
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
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
Not long after, GameDay‘s host asked the most pertinent question: why was this even a violation?
Bigger issue is why is this even a violation. Just when you think they’ve cut down on silly rules, something even more preposterous comes along. The kid wanted a picture. Big deal. Imagine if we give a recruit access to the crew’s road kill grill. Oh the humanity! 🙄🙄 https://t.co/Xor0W9O8bM— Rece Davis (@ReceDavis) December 20, 2017
Parsons, incidentally, is set to announce his choice of schools at 9:45 a.m. ET Wednesday morning, the first big announcement of the first-ever Early Signing Period. OSU remains in the Pennsylvania product’s Top Six, joining Penn State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Alabama. Penn State, to which Parsons was originally verbally committed before decommitting in April, is believed to be the front-runner for the defensive end rated as the No. 4 prospect in the country on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.