Legendary college basketball analyst Dick Vitale is known for being loud, boisterous and sometimes controversial, but even he acknowledges that he crossed the line when reacting to Houston Texans running back Arian Foster's admission that he took money while at the University of Tennessee.
After CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel tweeted that Foster willingly came forward with the information, Vitale reacted by comparing Foster to a prostitute:
@GreggDoyelCBS When they put their hand out like a prostitute & take it they don't say a word - moaning yrs later = SAD!— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 20, 2013
Another Twitter user admonished Dickie V for his perspective, but Vitale stuck to his guns initially:
@MrJDV21 How else can u define it ? Players know the rules & if u take cash u r selling ur body - end of story.— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 20, 2013
After taking some time to think about, and apparently getting a talking to from his wife, Vitale later apologized for his choice of words:
My wife agrees with u that prostitute was a bad term to use -I was upset when reading tweet from @GreggDoyelCBS about Foster getting cash— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 21, 2013
Was it necessary for Vitale to apologize for his comments?
Vitale has long been an ardent supporter of the NCAA, so seeing him lash out against Foster isn't necessarily a surprise. The Basketball Hall of Famer is usually much more tactful, though, and his response to the news was certainly out of character.
Vitale's anger likely stems from the fact that Foster doesn't feel as though he did anything wrong by taking money while in college, per Sports Illustrated:
I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation—my senior year, I was getting money on the side. I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.
Foster's difficult upbringing is well documented as he cried at the press conference following the signing of his five-year, $43.5 million contract last year. Foster clearly didn't have much money during his time at Tennessee, which is likely why he didn't feel bad about receiving improper benefits.
Foster has gone on to become one of the NFL's premier running backs as he is a three-time Pro Bowler. His money troubles are very much in the past, but Foster seems intent on helping current and future collegiate athletes by coming forward with his story.
Vitale has every right to disagree with Foster's methods, but it's fair to say that his comments weren't super, scintillating or sensational.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter