Vitale beefing with ‘NY Post’ columnist
by Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
Breaking news from The New York Post: Dick Vitale acts more like a booster for the NCAA than a critic.
That’s the word from the Post‘s TV columnist, Phil Mushnick, who took some shots at the ESPN announcer in a Friday column. Vitale took offense to the characterization and the beef is on.
First, Mushnick took offense to Vitale’s description of Dez Wells’ transfer to Maryland.
“‘An explosive athlete by way of Xavier, was just declared eligible by the NCAA,’ Dick Vitale hollered. ‘Santa Claus arrived very early for [coach] Mark Turgeon and the Terps!’
Yeah, Santa Claus. Vitale gave no explanation for why Wells came ‘by way of Xavier,’ but the truth is, he was kicked out of Xavier.”
He wasn’t done.
In the same telecast, Vitale mentioned the “one-and-done” system of the Kentucky program, then noted that neither coach John Calipari nor UK “has done anything illegal,” then praised both for their string of sensational recruiting and on-court successes.
Vitale’s rationalizations ignored the fact that the University of Kentucky is a college, ostensibly devoted to higher education, and not an NBA warehouse and showroom.
Vitale heard about the piece and tweeted his reaction:
“Wish I could be a GENIUS in TV ala Phil Mushnick just sits & rips Do we at ESPN ever do anything right in eyes of King Phil?”
“Mr TV know it all-MR Mushnick I stick to my statement -Santa came early 4 Terps with Wells”
You can practically hear Vitale dictating those tweets to an assistant. The capital “GENIUS” is particularly inspired. These should come with a mute button.
We’re on Team Vitale for two reasons.
First, how is Dickie V responsible for the sins of the NCAA? It’s his fault John Calipari can turn Kentucky into a basketball factory? And the fact that he doesn’t talk about this during UK games is an affront to common decency?
Second, in terms of the Dez Wells issue, does Mushnick expect Vitale supposed to give a detailed backstory to everything he says?
“OHHH, MR. SHULMAN, THIS YOUNG MAN IS A DIAPER DANDY AND HE WILL THRIVE — THRIVE!!! — IN THE SYSTEM OF ONE … [For more on Dick Vitale beefing with 'New York Post' columnist, click here.]