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CBS parts ways with hoops analyst Packer after 27 years
Published July 14, 2008
CBS Sports will not bring back Billy Packer, its lead college basketball analyst for the last 27 years, for another season.
The network will replace Packer with Clark Kellogg, a veteran broadcaster who has been an in-studio analyst for CBS’s college basketball studio show since 1994. Greg Anthony, who left ESPN earlier this year, is expected to replace Kellogg in the studio, though his deal hasn’t been finalized.
Packer, who had been working off of one-year contracts, was teamed with CBS Sports’ top play-by-play announcer, Jim Nantz, through the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for the last several years. During the regular season, Packer was paired mainly with Verne Lundquist and, occasionally, Gus Johnson.
During his career, Packer became the voice of college basketball. He was the lead broadcaster for 34 consecutive Final Fours and won a Sports Emmy Award in 1993 for outstanding sports personality/analyst.
Almost from his start with NBC Sports in 1974, Packer has been a polarizing figure. His style was defined by honest — and occasionally heavy — criticism of teams, coaches and styles of play.
In recent years, he created controversy by complaining about the number of midmajor schools that were invited to the NCAA tournament. Last year, when asked about the criticism he was taking for that stance, Packer said, “I could care less what somebody thinks.”
CBS would not comment for this story.