Dick Vitale, ESPN Agree on Contract Extension Through 2020-21 Season

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2018

FILE - In this April 3, 2017, file photo, ESPN's Dick Vitale stands with North Carolina fans before the team's championship game against Gonzaga in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Glendale, Ariz. Vitale says he has turned his life “24-7” into raising money for pediatric cancer research. “I will do this is until my last breath,” he said Wednesday, May 3. “One of the reasons I'm upset is that just four cents of every dollar raised to fight cancer goes to pediatric cancer research and that shouldn't be happening.” (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Dick Vitale signed a contract extension with ESPN on Thursday that will keep him with the cable giant through the 2020-21 college basketball season. 

The agreement is essentially a one-year extension since the two sides agreed to a deal last May that kept Vitale in tow through 2020. 

"ESPN has been family to me and I am honored that they want me to continue being a contributor on our college basketball team," Vitale said in a press release. "ESPN has provided me a forum that has turned my dreams to reality. I feel young at heart. I said once, and I will say it againmy goal is to be the first in broadcasting to open a hoops game at 100 years old saying 'This is Awesome, Baby! with a capital A.'"

Vitale, 78, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 campaign following four years as the head coach at Detroit Mercy and a year-and-change with the Detroit Pistons. 

Since then, he's soundtracked 39 seasons of college basketball for fans around the country and become renowned for the creation of several signature phrases, including "Diaper dandy" and "PTP'er."

"Dick's commitment and passion towards college basketball and towards ESPN for the past 39 years has been unmatched," Lee Fitting, ESPN's vice president of college sports, said. "It's tough to imagine that there has been a greater ambassador for the game of college basketball, and we are thrilled to have Dick on our air for years to come."

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