College basketball fans have reason to rejoice. Billy Packer and his pro-ACC bias is out at CBS. CBS announced Monday that Clark Kellogg had been hired to replace Packer as its lead college basketball announcer. I don’t know if Kellogg deserves the top spot, alongside Jim Nantz, but he is a definite improvement on Packer, 68, who had covered 34 consecutive Final Fours.
The change was long overdue. The stodgy, know-it-all Packer didn’t deserve top billing any more. He commentary skills in recent years. He made several questional comments at at this year’s Final Four. Early in the semifinal between
Younger viewers took a particular disdian for Packer, 68, who had covered 34 consecutive Final Fours. The site Deadspin.com held a “Media Approval Rating” poll for Packer, and the younger audience gave him a 90 percent disapprove rating.
Through the years, he also has made several controversial statements that received criticism.
In 1996, he apologized on the air after he was criticized for referring to then-Georgetown guard Allen Iverson as a “tough little monkey.”
In 2000, he 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.
In 2004, he blasted the selection of St. Joseph’s as a No. 1 seed, and in 2006, he criticized the selection of four Missouri Valley Conference teams, before Bradley and Wichita State reached the round of 16.