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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Fans force Herbstreit to leave Ohio

By Marla Published: March 15, 2011

Ohio State alum Kirk Herbstreit has moved his family from Columbus to Nashville last week because of  rabid' OSU fans who don't like what he says about the school on ESPN's ''College GameDay.''

The former Buckeye quarterback told Columbus Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter that he and his family moved to Tennessee on Thursday because of a ''vocal minority'' of ''relentless'' fans who don't understand he must be objective on the air.

He told Hunter that he and his wife Allison (a former OSU cheerleader) had considered the move for three years and that they visited several cities before choosing Nashville.  Herbstreit told Hunter he will continue his Monday radio show on WBNS-FM this fall.

Herbstreit is a native of Centerville, Ohio and was OSU's captain and MVP in 2002.

"Eighty to ninety percent of the Ohio State fans are great. It's the vocal minority that make it rough,'' Herbstreit told Hunter. "They probably represent only 5 to 10 percent of the fan base, but they are relentless."

According to, their seven-bedroom, 7 1/2-bath home in Upper Arlington has been listed for $3.75 million. The home is 9,686 square feet and includes a basketball court, a home theater, five furnaces and a pet shower in one of its two heated garages.

Herbstreit had experienced problems with his role as a broadcaster dating back to 2004, when ESPN The Magazine published an article on running back Maurice Clarett's allegations of widespread improprieties at OSU. Herbstreit told former Beacon Journal reporter Tom Reed in December, 2004 that he had received death threats directed at him and his family.

"This has taken a toll on me," Herbstreit told Reed in 2004. "It has been a long year because of my associations and feelings for Ohio State. I feel bad for my university, but I also have a job to do.

"I have taken the brunt of it. A lot of people assume me and the guys who wrote the stories eat lunch every day at the ESPN mess hall. It's frustrating to me. I have been told to move out of Columbus, that I was no longer welcome, that I have prostituted myself for ESPN's money. It's really kind of bizarre . . . It's something that concerns you, especially with kids."



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