David Pollack doesn't think women belong on playoff committee


ESPN analyst David Pollack generally has well-reasoned takes on college football. But Saturday ... man, he went off the rails.

And he knew he was going off the rails beforehand.

During a segment on ESPN's "College GameDay," talk turned to the makeup of the selection committee that will be used to choose the four teams in college football's playoff, which begins in the 2014 season. Friday, it was reported that former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- who has stated that her dream job would be to serve as NFL commissioner -- was expected to be part of the committee.

Pollack said, "I'm going to stick my foot in my mouth, probably" -- and still went ahead and did so.

"I want people on this committee ... that can watch tape. ... Yes, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams, on tape, not on paper," he said.

Pollack said members of the committee should be former players, and show host Chris Fowler asked if such a requirement should preclude women from serving on the committee.

"You said that. ... I'll say it, yeah. Yeah," Pollack answered.

About an hour later, Pollack took to Twitter and backtracked:

But the damage had been done with, among others, ESPN's Samantha Ponder, Fox Sports' Erin Andrews and Campus Insiders' Bonnie Bernstein taking shots at him. Ponder, whose husband is Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, had a nice line about Pollack making her a sandwich:

Ponder also tweeted that she respected Pollack for giving his honest opinion:

Presumably, Pollack was watching late Saturday night, when Stanford and Washington played on ESPN. ESPN cameras often showed Rice in a suite at the game. She is a political science professor at Stanford and frequently attends Cardinal games. Stanford coach David Shaw has said he often has Rice meet with recruits and told the Stanford Daily -- the student newspaper at the school -- that she has talked with him about how Stanford has used its tight ends in the red zone.

Former Auburn coach Pat Dye weighed in on Rice's selection Monday morning on Birmingham, Ala., radio station WJOX-AM.

"All she knows about football is what somebody told her," Dye said on the air. "Or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television. To understand football, you've got to play with your hand in the dirt."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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