Gary Hahn

On Dec. 30, while calling the NC State Wolfpack’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl game against the Maryland Terrapins, Wolfpack radio announcer Gary Hahn slipped in quite a controversial Sun Bowl score update. Hahn said “Amongst all the illegal aliens down in El Paso, it’s UCLA 14 and Pittsburgh 6.” That led to him receiving an indefinite suspension from employer Learfield Communications later that day. But that suspension has now become more definite, with Brian Murphy of Raleigh NBC affiliate WRAL reporting that Hahn will return to Wolfpack broadcasts on Jan. 14, when he’ll call a men’s basketball game between NC State and the Miami Hurricanes:

Here’s more from Murphy’s piece:

NC State’s men’s basketball team hosts No. 12 Miami on Jan. 14 at noon. Tammy Purves, Learfield’s vice president of communications, confirmed the end of the suspension in an email to WRAL News on Wednesday.

Learfield produces games for the Wolfpack Sports Network and employs Hahn, who has called NC State games for more than 30 years. He was suspended indefinitely after his comments during the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 30.

A two-week suspension is shorter than some we’ve seen for college sports team broadcasters. In particular, Iowa broadcaster Gary Dolphin (also employed by Learfield) wound up missing several weeks, and the entirety of the rest of the basketball season, after comparing a Black Maryland player to King Kong in 2019. (But that was Dolphin’s second suspension of that season, even if the first, over hot mic critical comments, was controversial.) It’s also shorter than we’ve seen for some local radio broadcasters, like ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, who missed several weeks after calling Baker Mayfield “a f*cking midget” in 2020. But it’s the same length of time ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski got for his “F*** you” email response to Senator Josh Hawley, and it’s longer than many ESPN suspensions (which have, admittedly, not been consistent).

Hahn was named North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year in both 2011 and 2020. He has been the voice of NC State football and men’s basketball since 1991.


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.