Lou Holtz Says He's Retiring From ESPN; Network Says That's News to Them

By Jason McIntyre

Lou Holtz, the 77-year old ESPN college football analyst, told the website Notre Dame 24/7 that he plans on retiring after the 2014 season.

“I’d like to leave when people say, ‘Why are you leaving?’ not ‘When are you leaving?’” he said. “This is my fifth last year. They usually talk me into it. ESPN is a great organization to work for. We’ve been together nine years now. That’s unusual. They’re like my family. I love them. We enjoy it. There comes a time where you need to step aside and let the younger people do it.”

Was Holtz joking or serious? He’s played the “I’m retiring” card a few times before as he alluded to in that quote. Also, he said this:

Q: On why he wants to retire after the 2014 season:
“I’d like to practice my golf a little more. I’ve been everywhere except to bed. I’ve spoken to everybody except my wife. Somebody said, ‘Do you ever go anywhere where people don’t recognize you?’ I said home. I owe it to her to spend a little more time with her. I said that last year too.”

We checked in with ESPN to see if Holtz was indeed stepping down, and spokesman Josh Krulewitz said, “He has not officially told us that.” ESPN didn’t reveal when his contract with the network expires.

One wonders what will become of twitter-challenged Mark May if his sparring partner Holtz retires. As if those moments aren’t cringe-worthy enough, Rece Davis, who plays referee to those screamers, could become a coveted (NBC? Fox?) free agent soon.

Busy year for ESPN college football changes, huh?