ESPN's Dick Vitale to Undergo Throat Surgery, Miss Rest of CBB Season

Doric SamJanuary 24, 2022

ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale waves to the crowd prior to an NCAA college basketball game between Baylor and Villanova, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)
AP Photo/Ray Carlin

Hall of Fame college basketball analyst Dick Vitale announced Monday that he will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season because of impending throat surgery.

Vitale, who announced in October that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, wrote that he will be undergoing surgery to "solve my dysplasia and ulcerated lesions of the vocal cords."

Vitale said that he had a visit with a leading throat specialist Monday and was told that the inflammation in his throat reduced by 60 percent thanks to him resting his voice for the past three weeks. He has a follow-up visit scheduled for Feb. 16 and a date for his surgery will be determined once the inflammation is healed.

Vitale noted that his doctor is "optimistic" that the treatment will allow him to be ready for the 2022-23 season. He added that the issue is not related to his cancer diagnosis, for which he continues to receive treatment.

"As I've said before, this issue is separate from the cancer treatments I've been going through," Vitale wrote. "I'm happy to report that according to my doctors, my ongoing chemo for lymphoma continues to progress positively as well. I've seen what cancer can do. I feel so lucky."

After getting cleared to return to the broadcast desk, Vitale tearfully made his season debut in the game between Gonzaga and UCLA on Nov. 24.

Vitale ended his announcement by saying that he plans to return to calling games as soon as he is able to.

"I will continue to provide updates as I go along, and I am firm in my belief that I will win this battle and be back doing what I love—calling games at courtside next season," he wrote. "In the meantime, I will enjoy all the great games from my living room and savor the love of my marvelous family. Thank you all."