Dick Vitale says he declined CBS' offer to call an NCAA tournament game

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ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale says he declined an invitation from CBS Sports to call at least one NCAA tournament game this season. 

Vitale says he turned down the gesture in part because of loyalty to ESPN. He has been with the network since 1979.

“I was flattered when Sean asked, but I’m 83 now and I want to end my career with just ESPN on my résumé,” Vitale told Sports Illustrated. “What they did for me this last year has been amazing. They’ve treated me like royalty. It’s been 44 years just with them, and I just want to have ESPN on my résumé.”

Dick Vitale waves to the crowd before a game at Allen Fieldhouse in December.

Vitale says that ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro gave him the go-ahead to work for CBS this year.

“If you went through what I went through and you saw how ESPN treated me, they never cut my salary, always encouraged me. I wanted to be loyal to them," Vitale said.

Fans can still hear Vitale as he will be on the international call for ESPN during the Final Four.