Jun 28, 2011
Not Everyone In Detroit Happy With Court Being Named After Dick Vitale

The daughters of a Detroit Mercy athletic icon don’t think anything is “super sensational” or “awesome” about the recent naming of the school’s basketball court after colorful ESPN personality and former Titans coach Dick Vitale.

“You don’t name a court after someone who was at the school only four years, said Susan Calihan, daughter of Bob Calihan, a former athletic director, men’s basketball coach, player and the school’s first basketball All-American.

Certainly if someone tried to stop this, I would become the leader of the pack (in the effort).”

Susan Calihan, who lives in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, believes Calihan Hall should include the building and court. School officials renamed the now-8, 295-seat venue Calihan Hall in 1977.

Bob Calihan died in 1989.

Detroit Mercy athletic director Keri Gaither said the decision was made to honor Vitale because of what he accomplished as a coach and his impact on the game as a whole.

“So many people have a positive memory to share with you about Dick Vitale, she said. Look at the banners in our arena, you can’t argue with the success that he had in the NCAA (Tournament), the NIT and the players he helped get to professional ball.”

Gaither said Vitale is usually the first person people associate with Titans basketball, especially out of state because of his mentions of the school on ESPN.

“It’s always going to be Calihan Hall, she said. Bob Calihan and Virginia Calihan did a tremendous amount for the university, but so did Dick Vitale.

“This is a way to recognize both.”

But Susan and her sister, Colleen Calihan of St. Clair Shores, are so upset with the school’s decision to name the court in honor of Vitale, they no longer want to donate money to the school or attend games.

“The building was named Calihan Hall and the court is part of Calihan Hall, Colleen Calihan said. If you consider the court a part of the building, then it’s probably the most important part of the building.”

Gaither said the idea of “Dick Vitale Court” has been in the making for a few years and comes at a time when Calihan desperately needs a new floor. Its current hardwood floor, the one the Titans played on last season, is about 30 years old, she said.

Vitale told The Detroit News that Gaither told him before the June 15 announcement the recognition had to do with his accomplishments on and off the court.

“To be honest, I questioned her (decision) when she called me because I wasn’t there that long, said Vitale, 72.

Current and former basketball coaches have had courts named after them, such as Nell and John Wooden Court” at UCLA and “Mike Krzyzewski Court” at Duke.

Vitale was the Titans coach from 1973-77 and served as athletic director for a brief time.

He then coached the Detroit Pistons for the 1978-79 season before being let go 12 games into the next season, when he returned to broadcasting.

Vitale will celebrate his 32nd year of calling basketball games for ESPN when he calls the St. John’s-Detroit Mercy game on Dec. 5, the same day the court is to be dedicated. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

“Dick Vitale Court, described by a school news release, is the first phase of a fundraising project that will install a hardwood floor. The second phase of the project is expected to include new basketball offices and upgraded locker rooms.

Vitale said he hasn’t donated any money to Detroit Mercy and hasn’t been asked to, but feels a bond with the school.

It was really a thrill — beyond belief, Vitale said. I can understand why the Calihans feel the way they do. But I didn’t make that decision. I’m just a recipient of the news.”

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110628/SPORTS0203/106280321/UDM-s-decision-to-name-court-after-Dick-Vitale-irks-late-Calihan-s-daughters#ixzz1Qa9DzCUo

Not Everyone In Detroit Happy With Court Being Named After Dick Vitale

Detroit News, Eric Lacy

http://www.detnews.com/article/20110628/SPORTS0203/106280321/UDM-s-decision-to-name-court-after-Dick-Vitale-irks-late-Calihan-s-daughters

The daughters of a Detroit Mercy athletic icon don’t think anything is “super sensational” or “awesome” about the recent naming of the school’s basketball court after colorful ESPN personality and former Titans coach Dick Vitale.

“You don’t name a court after someone who was at the school only four years, said Susan Calihan, daughter of Bob Calihan, a former athletic director, men’s basketball coach, player and the school’s first basketball All-American.

Certainly if someone tried to stop this, I would become the leader of the pack (in the effort).”

Susan Calihan, who lives in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, believes Calihan Hall should include the building and court. School officials renamed the now-8, 295-seat venue Calihan Hall in 1977.

Bob Calihan died in 1989.

Detroit Mercy athletic director Keri Gaither said the decision was made to honor Vitale because of what he accomplished as a coach and his impact on the game as a whole.

“So many people have a positive memory to share with you about Dick Vitale, she said. Look at the banners in our arena, you can’t argue with the success that he had in the NCAA (Tournament), the NIT and the players he helped get to professional ball.”

Gaither said Vitale is usually the first person people associate with Titans basketball, especially out of state because of his mentions of the school on ESPN.

“It’s always going to be Calihan Hall, she said. Bob Calihan and Virginia Calihan did a tremendous amount for the university, but so did Dick Vitale.

“This is a way to recognize both.”

But Susan and her sister, Colleen Calihan of St. Clair Shores, are so upset with the school’s decision to name the court in honor of Vitale, they no longer want to donate money to the school or attend games.

“The building was named Calihan Hall and the court is part of Calihan Hall, Colleen Calihan said. If you consider the court a part of the building, then it’s probably the most important part of the building.”

Gaither said the idea of “Dick Vitale Court” has been in the making for a few years and comes at a time when Calihan desperately needs a new floor. Its current hardwood floor, the one the Titans played on last season, is about 30 years old, she said.

Vitale told The Detroit News that Gaither told him before the June 15 announcement the recognition had to do with his accomplishments on and off the court.

“To be honest, I questioned her (decision) when she called me because I wasn’t there that long, said Vitale, 72.

Current and former basketball coaches have had courts named after them, such as Nell and John Wooden Court” at UCLA and “Mike Krzyzewski Court” at Duke.

Vitale was the Titans coach from 1973-77 and served as athletic director for a brief time.

He then coached the Detroit Pistons for the 1978-79 season before being let go 12 games into the next season, when he returned to broadcasting.

Vitale will celebrate his 32nd year of calling basketball games for ESPN when he calls the St. John’s-Detroit Mercy game on Dec. 5, the same day the court is to be dedicated. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

“Dick Vitale Court, described by a school news release, is the first phase of a fundraising project that will install a hardwood floor. The second phase of the project is expected to include new basketball offices and upgraded locker rooms.

Vitale said he hasn’t donated any money to Detroit Mercy and hasn’t been asked to, but feels a bond with the school.

It was really a thrill — beyond belief, Vitale said. I can understand why the Calihans feel the way they do. But I didn’t make that decision. I’m just a recipient of the news.”

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110628/SPORTS0203/106280321/UDM-s-decision-to-name-court-after-Dick-Vitale-irks-late-Calihan-s-daughters#ixzz1Qa9DzCUo






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