Addressing a rumor that he is leaving ESPN to pursue political office, Craig James told Crystal Ball Run that he is focused on his job as a college football analyst.
“There are a significant number of strong business leaders in Texas that want me to run for office,” James said in an e-mail statement to Crystal Ball Run. “But I love my current job and am heavily involved in college football and focused on my analyst responsibilities.”
A source familiar with the situation told Crystal Ball Run that James is leaving ESPN after the season to run for office.
James has long been thought to be eyeing a move into politics. In past interviews, he has expressed an interest in potentially running for office as a member of the Republican Party. With Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) leaving office in 2012, James’ name has been metioned as a potential candidate for the open seat in the U.S. Senate.
In January 2010, James discussed his political aspirations with Dallas’ WFAA-TV.
“I’m a Texan. I’m concerned for our country,” he said. “I disagree with the approach that we’re having, things that are taking place, and so whatever door opens up, I’ll look at it, if and when it opens up.”
Earlier this year, James established Texans for a Better America, a conservative 501(c)(4) organization. Under the heading “Our Values” on the organization’s website, Texans for a Better America lists “the Constitution,” “free markets” and “American exceptionalism.”
His most recent stint as an analyst for ESPN began in 2003. He also served as a studio analyst for ESPN from 1991 to 1996. From 1996 to 2002, James worked for CBS Sports.
*Regie Eller contributed to this report.