Basketball Hall of Fame personality Dick Vitale will have to delay the debut of his 45th season calling ESPN men’s college games as a result of ongoing health needs related to his throat.
After consulting with his doctor (Dr. Steven Zeitels) over the weekend, it was determined that more voice healing was needed, and his return date will not be this month as originally hoped.
I have to listen to the medical experts, who have been so good to me, and with some more rest, I know I will be back for my 45th season. I’ve been so touched by the amazing response I’ve received. – Dick Vitale
Vitale has also been in close contact with ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro about the ongoing developments, and no specific return date has been set as Vitale’s throat will continue to be monitored closely.
Vitale, who announced he was diagnosed with vocal cord cancer in July, received six weeks of radiation treatments and was then ordered to rest his voice for months. Last month, Vitale shared the news that his voice had responded well to the treatments and rest, and he hoped to make his season debut on ESPN at the end of November.
“While I’m disappointed with the latest developments, I remain hopeful,” Vitale said. “The cancer is gone, which is amazing news, yet the impact of the treatments has taken its toll on my voice and requires more healing.
“With the season started, I am jumping out of my shoes to be back in the college basketball arenas, calling the game I love and being around so many great colleagues and fans. I have to listen to the medical experts, who have been so good to me, and with some more rest, I know I will be back for my 45th season. I’ve been so touched by the amazing response I’ve received.”
Pitaro added, “Dick has the full support of his entire ESPN family, and, while we look forward to a return to his rightful courtside perch, he needs to focus on fully mending his vocal cords. Sports fans everywhere will anxiously await his comeback whenever he is ready.”