For the first time since 1979, Dick Vitale will not be part of the broadcast team when ESPN does the Duke-North Carolina game Wednesday night.
The network wouldn’t give a reason why it moved Vitale to the Kentucky-Tennessee game and instead go with play-by-play man Dan Shulman and analyst Jay Bilas.
In a text to the Bradenton Herald, Vitale couldn’t hide his disappointment, though the Lakewood Ranch resident said he was a company man.
“I would not be honest if I didn't say I am hurt as I have done every game between them (Duke-UNC) in my 35 years when they first appeared on ESPN,” Vitale said. “I love ESPN and will go where they assign me as I will cherish all the magical moments that I was honored to be part of the greatest rivalry in college sports.”
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During the past several years Bilas and Vitale had been co-analysts for the Duke-UNC games. One thing for sure the “Cameron Crazies” as they are known at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium will miss Dickie V.
The network would not give a reason for the change, but maintains Vitale is an important part of its college basketball coverage.