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Dick Vitale Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2020 3:46 pm

Dick Vitale Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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August 12, 2020 3:46 pm

Dick Vitale joined The Drive with Josh Graham to talk ACC, PAC 12 canceling their basketball season and more. 

The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham

Whenever I need a bit of pick-me-up, this next guest is always a sure thing to deliver that. Dick Vitale now with us. He has a new book out, and if you're a big college basketball fan, and we are in the heart of college basketball country, pick up his new book, 2020 The Lost Season,

You can find that. He's a great ABC basketball coach. In the conference this year, I want your thoughts on Steve Forbes, hired at Wake Forest since the last time we spoke. He's a lifelong coach.

Coach did a lot of different levels, an assistant for Bruce Pearl, Greg Marshall, Billy Gillespie. So how familiar are you with Wake Forest's new coach? Well, I'm familiar only by the fact that you just said his resume is really impressive to me because he worked on every level and he's been successful. The bottom line is he did a great job at East Tennessee State, and I like what I see already. I like his enthusiasm. I like the way he's taken the program, taken Steve's control, and he really seems to have a passion of what he's doing. And that passion rubs you off, I really believe, on all your players and gets people to believe. Everybody I talk to speaks extremely highly of him as a tactician, as a guy that can manage practice, and a guy that will win. So I think they're in good hands.

I think you can see a lot of good things happen. I mean, they lost. The kids are, obviously, that was a big loss. You know, I even like the way he handled that. He handled it so effectively and efficiently. He didn't cry and moan about it. He just picked up the pieces after Zard decided to go to Kentucky.

He went on his way and he didn't sit there and complain and moan. He went out and started recruiting and got some players to come in. So a lot of positive things are going to happen down here at Wake Forest. Dick Vitale with us. The book, The Lost Season, a look at what the journey to the 2020 National Championship game would have looked like. It's written with Dick Weiss, Howie Schwab researching it. Heck, even Leonard Hamilton wrote the foreword for it. You can find it at I want to know, Dick, what was your reaction to the Pac-12 already canceling non-conference basketball games yesterday? Yeah, really, you know, I just believe this, okay?

And I'm not saying they did that. I just did a sports chatter that's going up on my Dick Vitale, my Twitter account, Twitter and Instagram. If you go follow me on Twitter, you'll be able to see it.

I just posted it. And it's all about the decisions being made. It cancels a cancellation by, right now, the Big Ten and certainly the Pac-12.

And Pac-12, as you said, Joshua, well, they also canceled any kind of basketball in the months of November and December. And my whole dissertation is about this, basically. Number one, I'm no expert.

You're no expert in the world of infectious diseases. We're just people. We read what we see. We hear what we hear. The bottom line is we've got to leave those decisions to be made by medical experts. I've got to believe that the Pac-12 and certainly the Big Ten leaders have been sitting down with medical experts and took advice from them and moved it that way. On the other hand, I see, for example, the ACC, the SEC and the Big 12 right now. So we're still going along thinking that we might have football.

It's definitely going to have football. But we're going to do a little bit more research. We're going to do a little bit more, get more information, more feedback from people that know, that understand.

I always call some coaches, people in TV, people in radio. I mean, come on, we're not experts in those fields. I don't know a damn thing about COVID-19 other than what I read. So I can't tell them, should they play?

Should they not play? But the experts do. I also like the fact that a good leader, to me, never panics.

And a good leader is somebody that has patience in making a decision. And I like what they're doing. They're taking a little time. And certainly right now, when you look at the ACC and the SEC and the Big 12, and they've even moved the date. If they did have football, I don't know if the ACC did, but I know the SEC said September 26th. Josh, did the ACC say?

September 12th, they pushed things back a week to the 12th. Okay, bottom line is there is some time. So maybe if you have practice, you don't allow the practice with pads and with contact. Until you reach that definite decision, if you're going forward, I would believe a bubble would be very tough. Somebody's supposed to have a bubble like they do with the NBA. How do you have a bubble with the players? They've got to go to class, though. They've got to mingle with the students. I mean, I don't know how you'd have a bubble here.

Somebody could maybe tell me how. But all I'm simply saying is we've got to listen to the experts because the number one priority has to be the health and safety of everybody involved. I mean, we all want football in the worst way. I'm a season ticket holder, but not a day.

We fly my wife and I there three, four times a year. I love those weekends. I'd love to have that. But gee whiz, none of the expenses of kids losing their life.

I was going to ask you about that, Dick. Would you like to see Notre Dame join the ACC full time? You know, I'm mixed about that. Notre Dame to me has the greatest advantage. They're in a power position. They can dictate where they want to go.

Big 10, ACC. And they like their independence. And the people I know there, you know, I know quite a few.

We have seven degrees of my family from Notre Dame. And bottom line is, I know a lot of their people there, they like that independent situation of football. And I don't think that they'll be forced in any way, shape or form to join the ACC full time. I really don't. I think they'll go along with that same routine, play four or five teams a year from the ACC, play there and all the other sports. But I don't see it happening.

I really don't, Josh. Yeah. Dick Vitale with us here on Sports Hub Triad. I was really glad to see Coach K about a month ago raising the alarm saying, OK, all this attention is being paid to college football and I get it. It's the next thing on the agenda. But college basketball, we have our own issues where, hey, we're an indoor sport and there are three times as many D1 schools playing basketball than the top level of football.

And you're talking about maybe three times as many games. So what's your general feeling right now about basketball? How concerned are you about it?

You know, it's amazing. Prior to coming on with you, I was going to message back and forth my boss at ESPN to get the latest feedback as to what are they hearing in terms of these tournaments we're starting now. Think about the chaos with the Pac-12 announced that they're not going to play basketball in November, December. Many of those teams were scheduled to play in all these different tournaments. So now the tournament directors have got to be going crazy trying to say, well, how do we replace them?

How do we get this? Is the tournament going up? So there's a lot of questions out there and I'm in the dark right now.

I really am. I don't know what to expect or what to anticipate. I think the one thing that will happen, I think there'll be a little delay in the starting of the season. I'm very optimistic that we're going to have college basketball. I hope so. I hope it won't bother my heart because really I'm chomping at the bit, man.

I'm chomping at the bit. When we have fans, does it look really potentially not going to happen? I just don't know. To make a statement now would be just a wild guess. So basically, I'm simply saying I'm praying and praying and praying that it does become a reality we have basketball. But you do see a lot of football players, Dick, making decisions, personal decisions, whether they feel safe playing the sport that they love.

You love basketball so much, but you've been broadcasting the last 40 years for ESPN. How safe would you feel broadcasting this year if there's no vaccine? Well, you know, the bottom line is at my age I've got to be very cautious about this disease, too.

I've got an 81-year-old and even though I feel like about 12, and that's about 12, the bottom line is if the medical experts say it's fine, I'll go along with it. I think the key is we've got to follow all their rules, regulations, adhere to what they say, and move on in that way. And the bottom line is I think when you look at, we have to sit down and we've got months on our side yet for basketball. Football's got to make some decisions quickly because obviously, you know, you're talking right now. You said to me the ACC starts September 12th.

That's four weeks from now. When you just can't walk out of football field and play, let's say, in a week or so before the season, just put pads on and start hitting. I don't know.

Are people hitting now using pads? I don't think so, are they? There are some places that are trying to figure out a way to do so. But in North Carolina, you're talking about phase two, haven't gone into phase three.

So, eh, you're very limited in what you could do. You're right. Yeah, it's really tough. A lot of decisions have been made, and in football, they've got to make them quickly. I really believe that's got to be a step there.

Now, basketball, I don't know how to put the Maui classic, the Atlantis and all those tournaments. I mean, travel, I think travel is going to be something reduced big time. So, some of these long trips, I think, are going to be history. I think there's a lot, a lot of decisions to be made, man. It's unreal what's going on out there as well. It's just unbelievable. Some people say big basketball in the bubble. I don't know how you do that either.

Again, I'm not an expert in those areas. So, I'll stay to talking about the X's and O's of the games if we have the games. I want to give you the last word with your book because I know it's all going to a really good cause. It's The Lost Season. Dick Weiss helping with that. Leonard Hamilton writing The Forward. What was your thinking when it comes to this book? Well, I was thinking very, you know, we have a season.

It was a lost season. If you look at the cover of the book, the cover is me standing there with an empty bracket, and that's what it's like. But then we did our fantasy bracket, which is the last chapter, and we talk about, I take the steps, and we fantasize a little bit as to what happened in each matchup and each game and ultimately to our national championship winner.

And it was just a fun book. You know, we talked about what could have been with somebody like a kid, like the popping kid from Dayton. Could have been a household name. Talk about a team like Dayton. You know, it gets denied the opportunity to really be in the limelight, big time to play against the Power Five teams, conference teams. We talk about suddenly the Blue Chip teams, the Kansas of the Worlds, who was number one at the end of the year. We talk about teams like East Tennessee State, where Forbes came from. We talk about those mid-majors that couldn't cause problems. Talk about San Diego State, for example.

They were 26-0 at one time. So we lose out on that. We don't see it. So we share stories about it. But as you said, if anybody wants it, I just signed the budget app. In fact, a lot of pre-orders came in, and the book is in right now. So we have pre-orders coming in, and the bottom line is I autograph them to the wishes of anybody. If they want an autographed copy, as you said, they go to, and they get an autographed copy, and I autograph it to their desires. Like if Josh Grant wants to buy one, and Josh Grant says to me, say, Josh is the best announcer in the world, I would write that.

I'd do anything to raise money for kids battling cancer, because every dollar I would make is going to the V Foundation for kids battling cancer. So again, people just go out there, and if you want to learn more about our virtual gala, which is going to be off the charts, I mean, we're going to roll in video. Our honored guests are all going to give speeches. I gave my speech. We taped some stuff already. The virtual gala will be September 4th.

It's 7 o'clock. Anybody wants information on how they can get the virtual gala, just go and call 941-350-0580 and ask for Rebecca. 941-350-0580. And while you're asking for Rebecca, ask Rebecca if you'd like to get a souvenir autograph, gala, basketball, and football. Limited number available.

You can get them. You can see them on my website also at We're taking a $100 donation per each ball autograph for you, and they're beautiful basketballs and footballs. And that will give you a lot of stuff today, Josh.

Yeah, and it's all going to a fantastic cause, of course, helping kids with cancer and what you do at the V Foundation. It's just an amazing thing, and I'll give you all the airtime you want to talk about that subject. Thanks a lot, Josh. Appreciate so much for having me on. Yeah, it's good to hear your voice, Dick. We'll see you around. Thanks, buddy.

That's the great Dick Vitale. Appreciate him spending the time with us. You know, there are a lot of things we've done in 2020 to adapt to the times. But have we already started to think about what things are worth keeping post-pandemic? Well, I have for all the major professional sports in America, and I'll tell you what things I would like to see kept post-COVID. That's next on The Drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 02:35:37 / 2023-02-12 02:41:48 / 6

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