Dick Vitale is as much of an ambassador for college basketball as he is an analyst. In that role, he’s been one of the biggest supporters of the sport (and the people in it) through a litany of tough times.
So then it’s no surprise that he would publicly disagree with Geno Auriemma’s comments that men’s college hoops is “a joke.” What may be a surprise is how fervently Vitale did, calling the statement a “cheap shot” and “a joke.”
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“Admire/Respect [Auriemma] but that was a real CHEAP SHOT ripping the men's game / A joke give me a break Geno,” Vitale wrote on Twitter.
If you read Auriemma’s comments in full, what he says makes a lot of sense. The game is behind the times offensively and can be very ugly to watch as a fan. Perhaps Auriemma could have done it in a more diplomatic way, but that’s never really been his style over the years.
Complaints about NCAA basketball watchability still hasn’t stopped March Madness from being a ratings juggernaut once again this season, so hopefully it doesn’t lead the decision makers in the sport from hiding heads in sand because changes do have to be made.