Jerome Bettis Taking Hiatus From Broadcasting, Open to Return in New Role

Jerome Bettis commentating.
Jerome Bettis commentating. / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Jerome Bettis transitioned smoothly from NFL running back to NFL analyst, using the friendly personality that made him a Pittsburgh Steelers fan favorite to endear himself to TV viewers around the country. But after being out of the national broadcast game for the last few years, Bettis admitted he's on hiatus from broadcasting and focusing instead on instilling positive values in his 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.

"I am taking a hiatus," Bettis told The Big Lead. "I was with NBC and had a stint with ESPN and right now I've taken some time off...It's important for me to be home."

Bettis said he would consider a return to broadcasting in the future and mentioned being interested in an in-game color commentator role, something he hasn't done in the past.

"I've never done a game, but I'd look at that," Bettis said. "Being in the studio, that's something I'm very comfortable with, so that would be a no-brainer. But doing games, I would look at it down the road and consider something like that if that opportunity presented itself."

Bettis most recently worked as an in-studio analyst with ESPN from 2013-2017. Previously he worked in the same capacity for NBC and NFL Network. He was an affable personality, but didn't create the kind of social buzz many networks now covet. He was ultimately let go by ESPN as part of a massive round of analyst layoffs they had in 2017.

Since then, Bettis has hosted The Jerome Bettis Show on WPXI in Pittsburgh and made spot appearances on other networks. But with his children reaching their formative years, he's focused solely on helping put them in a good position to succeed moving forward.

"My son is 13, my daughter is 15 and they're in that age where I need to be present," said Bettis, who is currently working with Modelo and DraftKings to promote the “Beat Bettis” fantasy challenge. "For the majority of their lives, I was always on the road, but the last few years I've been home helping to define and sculpt their thinking going forward."

Once his children reach an age where his daily presence isn't as necessary, look for The Bus to transition back into the broadcast world as smoothly as he did before.