Dickie V sidelined by surgery until at least February

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale underwent surgery Tuesday to treat ulcers on his left vocal cord and is
expected to be off the airwaves until at least February.

Vitale will continue to provide his observations on ESPN.com and his own Web site, dickvitaleonline.com, while he recuperates.

"College basketball fans will miss Dick's enthusiasm in the coming weeks. But we are delighted to learn his surgery was a success and we all wish him a speedy recovery," ESPN president George Bodenheimer said in a statement.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Zeitels at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Vitale, 68, had never missed an assignment since joining ESPN in 1979.

"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," Vitale said in a letter posted on ESPN.com. "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."

Vitale, who coached at the University of Detroit and for less
than a season with the NBA's Detroit Pistons, was a finalist for
the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

In addition to his broadcasting career, Vitale has become an
avid fundraiser and is personally responsible for raising millions
of dollars for the V Foundation, a cancer research foundation named
for his close friend, Jim Valvano.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.