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NEW YORK (TICKER) -Clark Kellogg was named as the top college basketball analyst for CBS Sports on Monday, signaling the end of Billy Packer’s 27-year run with the network.
A game and studio analyst for CBS for the past 16 years, Kellogg will partner with longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz as the network’s top broadcast team. The pair will work NCAA Tournament games together, including the Final Four in Detroit in April 2009.
Prior to Kellogg, Packer had been a part of CBS’ top broadcast team since 1982, and had worked every Final Four with Nantz since 1991.
“With his unquestioned popularity and performance over the years, Clark Kellogg earned all rights to this top spot,” CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus. “Like Billy Packer, Al McGuire or any of the most highly regarded broadcasters, Clark is an original voice with his own style and perspective. We have been proud to have him lead our studio presence for many years and look forward to his fresh impact on CBS Sports’ coverage of college basketball for years to come.
“I’m excited, humbled and quite pleased to have this special opportunity and responsibility to serve as lead analyst for college basketball at CBS Sports,” Kellogg said. “I appreciate the confidence Sean has expressed in affording me this new role.”
A former college star at Ohio State and the Big Ten’s MVP in 1982, Kellogg, 47, played five years in the NBA after being drafted in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in 1982. Following his playing career, “Special K” began broadcasting in 1990, working as an analyst for the Pacers and joining ESPN’s college basketball team.
The promotion of Kellogg to lead duty comes as a bit of a surprise as Packer has long been considered the signature voice of college basketball. The 68-year-old has covered every Final Four since 1974, dating back to when NBC used to broadcast the event.
“Billy Packer has set the standard of excellence for over 30 years,” McManus said. “I can’t express how important he has been, not only to CBS Sports and it’s coverage of college basketball, but also to the growth of this great sport. It is almost impossible to over-estimate his passion, knowledge and commitment to the game.”
However, Packer was not without his faults. A former player at Wake Forest and broadcaster of Atlantic Coast Conference games for Raycom Sports, Packer has shown a bias for that league at times.
Also, Packer has been vocal about his displeasure of the NCAA Selection Committee’s decision to give more invitations to mid-major schools in recent years, like George Mason and Davidson. Meanwhile, middle-of-the-pack teams in the ACC and other major conferences have been squeezed out.
In a response made exclusively to Sporting News, Packer stated that he was not fired by CBS, stating that it was a mutual decision.
“This is a decision CBS and I made over a year ago,” Packer told Sporting News. “The only thing that’s peculiar in this is the timing of (the announcement). I did not want it to affect any college basketball games (last) season, so I didn’t want it announced while there were games being played.”
Packer also stated that he no longer plans to announce games anymore, saying that he will pursue other interests within college basketball.
Concerning his replacement, Packer had nothing but compliments, believing Kellogg will serve the role well.
“Clark is a very intelligent guy,” Packer told Sporting News. “He’s been involved as a student of the game on all levels of basketball. He served his time at CBS. He’s a quality gentleman and he’ll do extremely well.”