Legendary college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale shared the disappointing news on Monday that he would no longer be on the air for ESPN broadcasts this season. The 82-year-old revealed that he plans to rest his voice and that he will eventually need surgery to correct dysplasia on his vocal cords.
“Well, today, Dr. Z. delivered the news that even though the rest really helped, I need to give my voice an even longer ‘T.O., Baby!’ And there is no doubt I will soon need surgery to solve my Dysplasia and ulcerated lesions of the vocal cords,” Vitale said in a statement.
“So, while I’m heartbroken that I won’t appear on ESPN for the rest of this season, I’m encouraged by the progress. In fact, it appears that by resting my voice for the past three weeks, I’ve reduced the inflammation by 60 percent. Let’s hope the added rest will help it heal some more, and things will look even better when I go for my next follow-up visit on Feb. 16. Once the inflammation heals, we will set a date for surgery.”
It's disheartening to think about a college basketball season with no more Dickie V. Much of the sports world felt the same way, taking to social media to wish the broadcasting icon a speedy recovery.
"You’ve got this Dickie V," the Indiana men's basketball team
👊 You’ve got this Dickie V. The Hoosiers are with you & can’t wait til you return to the airwaves. Prayers up.
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) January 24, 2022
">wrote on Twitter. "The Hoosiers are with you & can’t wait til you return to the airwaves. Prayers up."
Thankfully, Vitale's announcement did come with a shred of good news. The 82-year-old anticipates that he'll be ready to return for the 2022-23 season.
“My throat’s condition is clearly moving in the right direction, and Dr. Z. is very optimistic that this can be successfully treated to have me strong for the 2022-23 season on ESPN,” Vitale added.
We wish Vitale a full and speedy recovery and can’t wait to hear him back on the air next season.