June 19, 2024

Eli Gold was offered ‘limited role’ to return, Crimson Tide Sports Network says

Hours after Eli Gold said the split between he and Alabama was not amicable, the Crimson Tide Sports Network released a statement Thursday which said there was a plan for the legendary broadcaster to return next season in a “limited role.”

In a Thursday interview on “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5, Gold was asked if there were any options offered by the network moving forward to stay on as type of “farewell tour.” He said there wasn’t.

That isn’t the case, according to CTSN.

“After a series of conversations over a period of time, Eli was presented with an opportunity to continue his contributions to the CTSN broadcast team in the coming years in a more limited role, including the lead broadcast role for this year’s A-Day game,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, he declined the opportunity. We will always appreciate Eli and wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavors.”

Earlier Thursday, Gold said he wanted to work a final full season before “calling it quits,” but the idea was shot down.

“They weren’t interested in that,” Gold told me on WNSP. “They wanted to make a change now.”

CTSN, in Thursday’s statement, made it known it wanted Gold to remain on in a different capacity.

“As we noted in yesterday’s release, Eli Gold has been a legendary broadcaster in a career spanning 52 years,” the statement read. “In 2023, we worked out a plan to have Eli call the home games plus Auburn, with Chris Stewart handling away games. We are incredibly appreciative of the positive things Eli has contributed to the Crimson Tide Sports Network and The University of Alabama during his time with us, which is why our desire was for him to remain part of the gameday broadcast and allow us to celebrate his UA broadcast career. But at this point, the interests of UA and CTSN are best served by Chris Stewart handling play by play for all games.”

Gold revealed CTSN asked him to call A-Day, the Crimson Tide’s spring game, where he would be honored for his years with the network. He said he was also offered tickets and a parking pass for future Alabama games.

In addition, the play-by-play man said former Alabama coach Nick Saban reached out to him Wednesday.

“I did hear from coach Saban yesterday. We missed each other a couple of times on the phone. He left a wonderful, lengthy voicemail. He was very quick to call, and I appreciated it very, very much.”

Gold, 70, called the end of the relationship with CTSN “sad.”

“My plan is to be carried from the broadcast booth directly to the cemetery,” he told me Thursday on WNS. “My thinking was I worked for the university. I worked for the fans. As long as I was doing the job, I wanted to continue.”

Eli Gold out as Voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide - Yellowhammer News

He remains an Alabama fan. He has tickets through Tide Pride and says he may even attend games if his “schedule allows for it.” Gold added it was just time to “move on.”

Stewart will now take over play-by-play duties full-time.

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