James Carville, the former lead strategist for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, slammed ESPN on Saturday after the network issued an apology for his theory the SEC is essentially working for Alabama.
Carville, 74, appeared on ESPN’s “College Gameday” and offered a hot take about the suspension of LSU linebacker Devin White, who didn’t appear in the first half of the game against Alabama because of a targeting penalty he received the week before against Mississippi State.
Carville, who graduated from LSU, said on the network it wasn’t a coincidence White was suspended.
“Tennessee’s best defensive player couldn’t play against Alabama because of the SEC. Missouri’s best defensive player couldn’t play against Alabama because the SEC kicked him out. [Texas] A&M’s best defensive player couldn’t play against Alabama ’cause [sic] he was taken out,” Carville said.
“And now, the best defensive player in the conference is not going to play the first half for nothing. He did nothing wrong.”
Carville had also written an op-ed in The Advocate in late October calling on SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey to overturn the suspension.
“In the name of all that is right, holy and just in this world, I beg SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey— tear this abomination of a decision down now,” he wrote.
ESPN issued an apology over Carville’s statement on the SEC.
“While appearing as a guest on ‘College GameDay’ earlier today, James Carville offered his thoughts on SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey,” ESPN said in a statement. “As we regularly demonstrate here on ESPN, diverse opinions are encouraged. However, these actions were over the top, and we would like to apologize to Commissioner Sankey for them.”
Carville didn’t take too kindly to ESPN’s apology. He tweeted a picture of himself hours before kickoff calling the network “gutless.”
“Grabbing bite to eat @philsoysterbar and I see gutless ESPN cut in their show to bow down to the SEC. well I got documentary evidence they knew what they were gonna get on air but still can’t help but suck up to power,” Carville tweeted.
It didn’t appear White would have made a huge difference in the ball game. Alabama defeated LSU, 29-0.