As Kirk Herbstreit‘s four sons age, stories of his weekend travels have become a fascination in college football. The ESPN analyst will often find himself in three separate locations in a 20-ish hour period as he attends his sons’ high school games in Nashville, takes a red eye flight to the College GameDay location and, if the schedule requires, takes a second flight to the location of ABC’s Saturday Night Football game.
He’ll do triple duty this weekend as the Herbstreits’ Montgomery Bell Academy faces rival Brentwood Academy for Tennessee’s state championship on Friday, then travel to Columbus for the GameDay broadcast hyping No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State, then trek out to the coast for ABC’s broadcast of No. 3 Notre Dame at USC. Hidden within the Nashville Fox affiliate’s story on Herbstreit’s situation was this bit of news:
Next year, his two twin senior boys will go to Clemson University to be preferred walk-ons on the football team.
“I’ll have Zak playing [at MBA] as a junior, and Jake and Tye going over to Clemson. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. These are all really good problems to have,” Herbstreit said. “My goal is to be there for anything I can be.”
Obviously, this will be a significant conflict of interest for Herbstreit as Clemson is a central figure in his work. While I’m not here to suggest having sons on the team of a College Football Playoff mainstay will in any way slant Herbstreit’s analysis of the Tigers — he and his father played for Ohio State and has commentated on the Buckeyes for years both in studio and during games with no issue, at least outside of the Buckeyes’ message boards — it will be interesting to see how both the employee and the employer disclose Herbstreit’s Clemson connection to ESPN’s viewers, particularly if either son becomes a contributor for the Tigers.