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Jealousy helped end Gus Johnson’s time at CBS

May 9, 2011, 11:59 PM EDT

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It’s official. March Madness just got a little less fun.

Gus Johnson and CBS have officially parted ways, leaving the NCAA tournament without its most popular play-by-play announcer starting next season. News first leaked of this last week, but CBS still had time to retain Johnson. It chose not to.

He’s now headed to Fox to call NFL and college football games.

Johnson’s popularity stems from his enthusiastic style and emphatic calls – Rise and Fire! – but it’s also one of the reasons why CBS chose not to renew his contract. The N.Y. Daily News reported that his popularity caused friction among the other on-air talents. From the paper:

A CBS source who wanted Johnson – a former (New York) Knick radio voice – back said that not only money, but politics was an issue. The source said some of CBS Sports’ college hoops voices were not thrilled with Johnson’s rise to March Madness’ most popular voice.

Sigh. A few people had to spoil it for the rest of us. Thanks a lot.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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