The patron saint of March Madness buzzer-beaters will not be calling the NCAA tournament next year.
SI.com has learned that CBS Sports recently parted ways with Gus Johnson, a play-by-play mainstay on its college basketball coverage for 16 years, after the two sides could not agree on a new deal. Johnson has also worked as a play-by-play voice for the network's NFL coverage since 1998.
Johnson's animated style and signature calls at the conclusion of tournament games earned him cult status among younger college basketball fans. During his decade and a half with CBS, Johnson also called college football, track and field, boxing and the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Johnson's marketing agent, Christian Gesue, declined to comment.
Come on, ESPN! I'm begging you! Pick him up! Basketball without Gus Johnson just feels wrong. And hell, put him in the Monday Night Football booth! In fact, just sub him in for Mike Tirico for EVERYTHING!
I'll still watch March Madness (duh) but I don't think I'm being overdramatic when I say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! March Madness games being called by anybody other than Gus Johnson are notably less exciting.
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you... Report of his departure is premature... (nydailynews.com)
Basically the article says that Fox has made him an offer and that CBS will have a week to match it once Gus's reps give them the details on it. I hope CBS is able to retain him because this guy makes a fair point (nymag.com) about Gus's effectiveness as a broadcaster on the NCAA tournament versus just about everything else Gus does.
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated (Holds; June 18, 2006) While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
CBS clearly sees Gus as a 4th/5th string PBP announcer for college basketball and football and surely offered him something in line with that spot. Gus probably sees himself as one of the most popular announcers in spots and an actual draw to watch shows. It's no wonder they can't agree on a deal, and it's no surprise Gus' side would leak his (possible) departure to prove their point.
As of now, Gus Johnson is now on FOX (by way of the Big Ten network):
The voice renowned for March Madness buzzer-beaters is now the voice of fall’s gridiron glory and more as FOX Sports Media Group has named Gus Johnson lead play-by-play announcer for its college football coverage and men’s basketball on the Big Ten Network. He will team with FOX Sports football analyst Charles Davis to form the Group’s lead college football announce team. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Executive Producer and Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group, Eric Shanks.
This saves them the awkwardness of putting Joe Buck on college football duty. But I'm going to miss Gus around March Madness time.