Put The Highlighters Away: Digger Phelps Retiring From ESPN After 20 Years
ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps last night announced that he would be retiring from broadcasting after 20 years on the network. Phelps, during a live edition of "College GameDay" prior to the UConn-Kentucky national championship game, said, "I spent 20 years at Notre Dame as a coach and now 20 years here at ESPN, doing a great job with all you people. Now it's time for me to move forward. This will be my last time on TV." ESPN's Rece Davis said, "It’s been a great run, Digger, and we thank you for your contributions. We're in our 10th year at 'GameDay,' and certainly Digger's contribution and personality have been a major factor and an integral part of how successful this show has been" (“College GameDay,” ESPN2, 4/7). BROADCASTING & CABLE's Tim Baysinger notes Phelps joined ESPN in '93 as a studio and game analyst, and became known for a "quirk where his highlighter and pocket square in his suit were always the same color" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 4/8). In South Bend, Tom Noie notes a two-year contract that Phelps signed in '12 "is expiring." Phelps said, "It's time for me to move on. There's other things I want to do." Noie notes in retirement, Phelps and fiancée Linda Costas "want to travel," and Phelps "might write another book." Phelps: "There's a lot of options out there" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 4/8). ESPN’s Keith Olbermann noted people "of this age know the television figure," but Phelps also was a "legendary coach” (“Olbermann,” ESPN2, 4/7).