Monday, July 14, 2008

Kellogg Takes Over For Packer On Final Four Coverage For CBS

It's official. Billy Packer is out as the lead college basketball analyst for CBS. A run of 34 consecutive Final Fours will come to an end in 2009, as Clark Kellogg takes his much-deserved seat next to Jim Nantz.

I have never been a huge fan of Packer. I thought the game passed him by a while ago, but he was too stubborn and/or arrogant to admit it. He's an old-school guy with old-school beliefs and opinions--few of which I often agree, even if I do consider myself old-school to a degree.

However, I have mad respect for Kellogg and his approach to his game. He gives props when they are due, but is still tactful with his criticisms. His skills as a studio analyst are some of the best in the business. Coming from someone who sits next to several different analysts a year, you have no idea how valuable it is to have an expert who can state the proper views and opinions in an exact amount of time. No one does it better than Kellogg.

By the way, you should expect some more news from CBS regarding its college basketball coverage. Former UNLV and NBA standout, Greg Anthony is expected to jump from ESPN to CBS later this fall.

NEW YORK (AP)—Billy Packer is out after 27 years as the lead college basketball analyst for CBS, making way for Clark Kellogg.

Kellogg has done game and studio analysis for CBS for 16 years. He will partner with Jim Nantz on his first Final Four in April. Packer did 34 consecutive Final Fours.

“With his unquestioned popularity and performance over the years, Clark Kellogg earned all rights to this top spot,” Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, said in a statement Monday.

“Like Billy Packer, Al McGuire or any of the most highly regarded broadcasters, Clark is an original voice with his own style and perspective.”

Kellogg said he was “excited, humbled and quite pleased.”

“I appreciate the confidence Sean has expressed in affording me this new role,” he said in a statement.

The 68-year-old Packer confirmed the move Sunday, through a CBS official, to The Miami Herald, which first reported the story. Packer is pursuing other basketball projects and declined further comment.

Packer, who played point guard for Wake Forest in the early 1960s, always spoke with authority. But his brusque, commanding style did not always go down well.

In 2006, he criticized the selection of four Missouri Valley Conference teams, before Bradley and Wichita State reached the round of 16. In 2004, Packer took umbrage at St. Joseph’s getting the No. 1 seed.

In 2000, Packer bristled when asked to identify himself by two female students checking credentials before a game at Duke. One of the students, Jen Feinberg, quoted Packer as saying:
“You need to get a life. Since when do we let women control who gets into a men’s basketball game? Why don’t you go find a women’s game to let people into?” >

Packer later e-mailed an apology to the women.

Four years earlier, he apologized on the air after he was criticized for referring to then-Georgetown guard Allen Iverson as a “tough little monkey.”

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