Legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger is retiring next week, ABC/ESPN announced Wednesday.
He will call his last game for ESPN — a college basketball match between Georgia and Kentucky—on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The game will be held at Rupp Arena, where Musburger called the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship when Villanova pulled off a surprising defeat over Georgetown.
Earlier this month, Musburger stirred up some controversy after he commented on Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was caught on videotape punching a woman and breaking her jaw in 2014, during the Sugar Bowl telecast. Musburger said he hoped Mixon, who was suspended for a year, would make the most of his second chance on the team.
“[Retiring] was Brent’s decision, not ESPN’s,” a spokesperson for ESPN tells EW. “It had absolutely nothing to do with that.”
In an interview with ESPN Front Row, Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production, said she heard Musburger wanted to retire 10 days before the Sugar Bowl. “I was shocked. I did not feel like it was time for him to step aside,” said Druley. “We had a follow-up meeting where we made a very strong pitch to get him to change his mind. In the end, he made a personal decision for himself and for his family. I respect that.”
Over the course of his 49-year career, Musburger, 77, has offered play-by-play commentary for countless of memorable sporting events, including the Super Bowl, College Football Championship, the Final Four, FIFA World Cup, and several more. He spent 15 years at CBS Sports before moving over to ABC in 1990, where he has primarily called football and basketball games.
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“What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” said Musburger in a press release. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.”
According to the Associated Press, Musburger plans on moving to Las Vegas and helping his family start a sports handicapping business.
Musburger’s final game will air Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.