By Chris Le
The newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame were announced early Monday. The class is headed by nine-time NBA championship coach, Phil Jackson, and UNC coach Roy Williams. The biggest headline, however, may be the continued exclusion of ESPN analyst and overzealous TV personality, Dick Vitale for the third time.
After short coaching stints at the University of Detroit and with the Detroit Pistons, Vitale became a regular contributor for ESPN. Since then, for over a quarter-century, he has been the face of college basketball. While some may find his over-the-top behavior and voice to be annoying, it is undeniable that he and the sport are synonymous. Not instating Vitale in the Hall would be similar to excluding John Madden from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And it appears I am not alone in this opinion. Former Alabama coach and Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight (both inductees to the Hall of Fame) have voiced outrage regarding Vitale’s omission, the latter even sending a letter to the voting committee.
Despite being 68-years old, Vitale brings a youthful exuberance to the game and no one has been a bigger ambassador or fan of men’s college basketball. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.