Former Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice is one of the candidates for the selection committee. She's the daughter of a former football coach, a huge supporter of Stanford football, and she was once mentioned as a possible candidate for the NFL Commissioner job, before Roger Goodell was hired.
ESPN analyst David Pollack said that he didn't think Rice should be a candidate, and went on to say that absolutely no females should be considered for a position on the committee.
Fellow analyst Chris Fowler basically forced Pollack to say it outright:
Pollack was only slightly hesitant before jumping right in and taking the bait. I guess that's why he said he knew he was putting his foot in his mouth.
Here's the entire exchange, just so you can evaluate it for yourself:
Pollack got responses from various females involved in college football, including Bonnie Bernstein, Erin Andrews and Samantha Ponder.
He later took to Twitter to backtrack a bit, saying that he wanted people who "eat, sleep and breathe" college football, and that it wasn't a matter of gender. However, he also said that it really WAS a matter of gender, so it seems a bit disingenuous.
The problem with Pollack's mentality is that players aren't always the best analysts. Even coaches, who are known as being some of the smartest people and who eat, sleep and breathe football more than anyone else on the planet, are known for putting together some absolutely terrible Top 25 polls.
Pollack's statement is typical of the "dumb jock" school of thought, where they believe that one must possess the physical ability to play the game at a high level before one can properly analyze and comment on a sport.
The problem is, the skill set required to play football at the college or professional level is entirely different from the skill set required to watch a game and analyze the ins and outs of the game. There are players who have transcendent physical ability, but couldn't break down tape if their life depended on it. On the flip side, there are people who weren't physically talented enough to even make their high school team, but have an incredible understanding of the nuances of the game. Some of them have gone on to be wildly successful college and NFL coaches, despite zero experience playing at a high level.
Paul Finebaum and Chris Fowler, two of Pollack's co-workers who analyze college football on a weekly basis, never played football at a high level. They most certainly eat, sleep and breathe college football, but they've never played the game. In that sense, they're no different from any female analyst or serious college football fan.
That's why Pollack's statement was idiotic, as was Fowler's prompting him to make anti-women comments. Fowler could have turned it on himself, and called out Pollack on a personal level. Instead, he took the easy way out and in the end, they both embarrassed their network.