Kirk Herbstreit takes Twitter timeout

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- ESPN analyst and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit is taking a timeout on Twitter after receiving criticism from fans of his alma mater.

In an interview with WGFX 104.5 The Zone in his new hometown of Nashville on Thursday, Herbstreit said it was "asinine" he had to defend his allegiance to the Buckeyes. Herbstreit has questioned how coach Jim Tressel can keep his job amid allegations of lying to the NCAA.

"The Ohio State fan base blindly is supporting Ohio State and Jim Tressel," Herbstreit said Monday. "It's almost gotten to the point that he beats Michigan, he wins 10 games, he goes to BCS bowl games, they'll support him no matter what he does as far as the fan base.

"If this would have happened to John Cooper [Herbstreit's coach], not only would they have fired him, they would have actually lined it up and had a firing squad and fired him," he said.

Herbstreit said that he thinks people are being a little unfair to Tressel's character but added: "I think it would be very difficult moving forward with Jim Tressel."

Herbstreit said in the radio interview Thursday he wouldn't interact with fans through social media "for a while." His Twitter account has been taken down.

"I just felt it wasn't for me as I already have sufficient ways to communicate my thoughts on college football," Herbstreit said in a statement through ESPN on Friday.

Herbstreit is hardly the first sports figure to be tweaked by tweets.

Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson closed his Twitter account Monday just two hours after opening it following a flood of abusive comments.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.