March Madness is incredible, but imagine if you could sprinkle in some Dick Vitale. Wouldn't that be awesome, baby? Vitale's employer, ESPN, also known as the Worldwide Leader in Sports, does not broadcast the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
For the first time in his broadcasting career, Dickie V was presented with the opportunity, but he refused the invitation.
Throughout his long and illustrious broadcasting career, Dickie V has been associated with ESPN, which does not possess the rights to NCAA tournament games. Consequently, Vitale has never covered March Madness. However, CBS Sports made an effort to alter that and approached Vitale with the approval of ESPN.
Unfortunately, fans will not get the opportunity to hear Vitale call a March Madness game.
“I was flattered when [CBS Sports’ chairman Sean McManus] asked, but I’m 83 now and I want to end my career with just ESPN on my résumé,” Vitale said to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated. “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.”
I’ve been so blessed to have been with @espn for 44 yrs .& being on a TEAM with many I have gr8 admiration for starting with Prez Jimmy Pitaro. I was honored when Sean McManus @CBSSports called as he was so classy when I told him at 83 I LOVE ESPN! https://t.co/CM4SDvGnRU
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 9, 2023
According to Sports Illustrated, 83-year-old Dickie V disclosed that CBS had offered him comparable opportunities over the last few decades, but ESPN had prevented him from pursuing them. At the time, Vitale understood ESPN's decision and partly why he declined to cover this year's tournament.
“If you went through what I went through and you saw how ESPN treated me, they never cut my salary, always encouraged me,” Vitale said. “I wanted to be loyal to them.”
Despite Dickie V's absence from your television or streaming device during March Madness, his voice will still have a significant presence throughout the tournament. He will still provide commentary for ESPN's international feed during the Final Four, a role he has previously held.
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