Dick Vitale Taking Break from ESPN College Basketball Broadcasts to Rest Vocal Cords

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale sits at mid-court prior to an NCAA college basketball game between the Baylor Bears and the Villanova Wildcats on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)
AP Photo/Ray Carlin

Longtime ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale will take a break from calling college basketball games for the network because he was diagnosed with precancerous Dysplasia on the vocal cords.

Vitale wrote an article on ESPN explaining he sought out a professional opinion because he has "been having some issues" with his voice.

"The good news is that he doesn't believe anything is life-threatening; however, Dr. Zeitels says I have precancerous Dysplasia on the vocal cords," he wrote. "Bottom line is I need to rest them—my voice needs a T.O., BABY!"

Vitale is unsure how long he will be away from ESPN but needs to do what he can to stay healthy so he can "do games when I'm 100."

He also said he is cured from melanoma but will undergo chemotherapy on Thursday as he continues "making fantastic progress in my battle with lymphoma."

The ESPN broadcaster has provided a number of updates on his Twitter profile on his cancer recovery process. 

He was medically cleared to call the men's basketball game between Baylor and Villanova on Dec. 12 and was greeted with an emotional reception from the crowd:          

The Sporting News @sportingnews

Dick Vitale got emotional as the Baylor-Nova crowd goes wild for his return 🥺❤️<br><br>🎥 <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@espn</a> <br> <a href="https://t.co/TIDA5d75uZ">pic.twitter.com/TIDA5d75uZ</a>

Vitale was the head coach at Detroit Mercy for four seasons in the 1970s before he was the head coach of the Detroit Pistons for the 1978-79 campaign and 12 games of the 1979-80 season. He became an ESPN broadcaster following his coaching career and is now one of the most famous college basketball announcers in the sport's history.

He brings catchphrases such as "Awesome baby, with a capital A" and "diaper-dandy" along with his patented enthusiasm, which has made him the voice of a generation of college basketball fans.