Company Man: Dick Vitale Declined To Call NCAA Tournament Games For The First Time In His Career Because He Won't Work For A Network Other Than ESPN
Sports Illustrated — Legendary college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale has never called an NCAA tournament game for a U.S. audience in his career. CBS and Turner tried to change that this season, but he declined the offer.
Vitale told Sports Illustrated that CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus recently reached out to the analyst and asked him to call one or two NCAA tournament games this season, but, according to Vitale, he passed on the offer out of loyalty to ESPN.
Vitale said that after 40-plus years at ESPN, he wanted to remain loyal to the World Wide Leader.
“I was flattered when Sean asked, but I’m 83 now and I want to end my career with just ESPN on my résumé,” says Vitale. “What they did for me this last year has been amazing. They’ve treated me like royalty. It’s been 44 years just with them, and I just want to have ESPN on my résumé.”
You have to respect this move from Dickie V. He had the opportunity to call NCAA Tournament games for the first time ever and passed to have just one team on his Hall of Fame plaque at the end of his career.
I don't think a single person on Earth would have questioned Vitale's loyalty to ESPN if he chose to call the most important games in the sport he's covered for four decades once at the age of 83, but he still chose to pass. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
It would have been great to get just a few Tournament games called by Dickie V before he hangs it up, though. He's been doing this since Jimmy Carter was in office and we've never gotten to hear him on the biggest stage. I guess he's just too loyal.
Respect to the GOAT.