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Dickie VThe voice synonymous with college basketball is taking a break after undergoing surgery on his left vocal chord. The procedure was done to address complications Vitale was having due to the presence of ulcers. While the mention of Vitale’s name can cause a myriad of reactions (he’s had a falling-out with some fans because of perceived ACC bias), there’s no denying the enthusiasm he has for the game of college basketball.

Vitale addressed his fans and well-wishers through a note on his ESPN/Dick Vitale page:

The past six weeks have been very emotional for me and for my family as we’ve visited some of the most outstanding throat specialists. Fortunately, I am currently under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Deems in Sarasota, Fla. and he is an outstanding ear, nose and throat specialist. Dr. Deems strongly recommended that I visit Dr. Steven Zeitels, who is recognized as one of the premier throat and voice specialists in the nation.

Dr. Zeitels serves as the director for the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. After an examination, it was determined that I had lesions on my left vocal cord and that they should be surgically removed. Dr. Zeitels said his goal is to have me back sitting at courtside in early February.

There is nothing professionally that I love better than sharing insights about the players and coaches that make college basketball so unique. I can’t wait to get back with all my colleagues at ESPN. Visiting college campuses and interacting with the fans has kept me so young and energized. I can’t wait to get back out there, having a blast with all of you, who are so vital to our game.

Get well, Dick. Your affection for the game is sorely needed… even if it is focused directly at Coach K. ;)