ESPN’s Dick Vitale Signs New Deal, Will Be “Yeah Babying” Until At Least 2015

  • Dan Fogarty

ESPN’s premiere college basketball analyst, Dick Vitale, has signed a contract extension through the 2014-2015 season.

The announcement was made by Norby Williamson, the network’s executive vice president of production.

Vitale is the most well-known college basketball announcer on the planet, and an ESPN icon, so the decision to keep him around is no surprise. Like all announcers who reach a certain level of notoriety, however, there has been a some backlash against Vitale over the years.

But unlike other sports TV personalities, Vitale’s shtick seems somehwat genuine: he may actually be a highly emotional, extremely cheerful man who happens to love college basketball.

“Simply put, Dick Vitale is college basketball,” Williamson said in a press release. “He embodies all the great characteristics of the sport he loves and has entertained millions with his unmatched passion and knowledge for more than 30 years.”

Vitale has been with ESPN since the beginning, calling their first big college basketball game (Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979) just after the network’s launch. Looks like he’ll be around for at least another few years.