Lee Corso (R) with ESPN producer Drew Gallagher on Oct. 14, 2022. (Photo from ESPN PR.) Lee Corso (R) with ESPN producer Drew Gallagher on Oct. 14, 2022. (Photo from ESPN PR.)

This year has seen a lot of discussion about Lee Corso on ESPN’s College GameDay. Corso, 87, returned to GameDay in person beginning last year after contributing from home throughout the 2020 season, but he’s missed the last two weeks with an unspecified illness. On Friday, though, ESPN PR posted a photo of Corso in GameDay meetings, with a caption that he’ll be on set (in Knoxville, ahead of AlabamaTennessee) Saturday:

This makes sense, as the GameDay crew did indicate on-air last week that Corso would likely return this week:

But it’s still certainly notable that that’s now happening. Corso has been part of College GameDay since its 1987 beginnings, including with the fateful 1993 decision to take it on the road each week. ESPN also found ways to accommodate Corso following a 2009 stroke. In 2016, around the 20th anniversary of his first donning a mascot head, Corso spoke to AA about how much joy he was still getting from being on GameDay:

“Are you kidding me? You don’t last this long in television! I’ve been there about 27 years and it’s amazing. But again, you’ve got to remember, at the time I was in the most need, ESPN was at its best. Because the stroke affected my speech and I could hardly talk, and I eventually got back to talking and they stuck with me.”

It’s cool to see Corso able to return to the set this week. And he’s one of several older ESPN figures who have been able to continue in prominent roles, including Hubie Brown and Dick Vitale. We’ll see how Corso’s return goes for him and for GameDay.

[ESPN PR on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.