Michigan AD goes off on Kirk Herbstreit for 'white flag' comments: 'I was infuriated'
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel says he was “infuriated” after ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said he thought the Wolverines would duck their final game of the season against Ohio State.
Herbstreit, an Ohio State alum, did apologize for the remarks he made during the College Football Playoff rankings reveal on Tuesday night.
However, that didn’t stop Manuel from sounding off on the idea that the Wolverines would skip the final game.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Manuel told reporters on Wednesday. “I have to pause because my words, the anger, I was infuriated by the insinuation that Michigan would do anything other than play a football game. We’ve been playing this game since 1879. We’re the winningest program for a reason, because we play whoever’s in front of us. And the only way we want to keep anybody from moving on is to beat them on the fields of play.”
Manuel also took a shot at Herbstreit, saying it’s embarrassing for the Big Ten.
“To insinuate that, to say something other than that, is a statement by a fool,” Manuel said “I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am for the Big Ten Conference to have one of their representatives who played this game say that about any team in this conference.”
Warde Manuel on Kirk Herbstreit's comments: pic.twitter.com/mB7afIqttz
— Orion Sang (@orion_sang) December 2, 2020
Michigan is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak this week, so it’s entirely possible it won’t be able to play the Buckeyes in Week 8 of the Big Ten season.
However, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said Wednesday that the final week of the schedule is “flexible” and implied the Big Ten would adjust the schedule to make sure the Buckeyes get to play six games.
Ohio State must play at least six games in order to be eligible to represent the Big Ten East in the conference championship game.
Michigan’s game vs. Maryland this weekend has already been canceled due to the Wolverines COVID-19 problem. However, Manuel said Wednesday the “hope” is the Wolverines will be able to play vs. Ohio State.
Michigan AD Warde Manuel: "Our hope is that we can play Ohio State."
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 2, 2020