A North Carolina State University sports broadcaster was suspended for a comment involving the term “illegal aliens.”
Gary Hahn, an employee of Learfield Communications which has the right to NCSU broadcasts, has called the school’s games for over 30 years. He was narrating the NC State versus the University of Maryland game in the Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30. During the game he gave an update on the Sun Bowl, where the University of California – Los Angeles challenged the University of Pittsburgh in Texas.
“And amongst all the illegal aliens in El Paso, it’s UCLA 14 and Pittsburg 6,” Hahn said. “That’s with 11:15 to go in the second quarter.”
Here's what got NCSU announcer Gary Hahn immediately and indefinitely suspended after today's broadcast: pic.twitter.com/4qkyQ1jzT2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 30, 2022
According to ABC 11, the Sun Bowl’s Fan Fiesta was canceled the week before because the convention center scheduled to host the event was repurposed to house immigrants apprehended while illegally crossing the United States-Mexico border.
NCSU confirmed Hahn was “indefinitely” suspended through a statement from Wolfpack Sports Properties general manager Kyle Winchester
“Learfield has suspended Wolfpack Sports Network play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn from his agreement indefinitely following comments made during today’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl radio broadcast,” said Winchester, per The News & Observer.
The decision to suspend Hahn has not been universally well-received.
“The suspension has, rightfully so, been met with more questions than answers,” reported OutKick. “Hahn stated a fact during the broadcast. There is nothing offensive or untrue about what Hahn said. Yet, Learfield not only suspended Hahn, they refrained from stating why they deemed his comment to be worthy of a suspension.”
Prior to his time with NC State, Hahn broadcasted for the University of Louisville, Ohio State University, and the University of Alabama. The broadcaster also previously worked as an anchor and sports reporter for NBC Radio Network in New York City and WLWI-TV in Indianapolis. He has called NCSU’s football games and men’s basketball games since 1991. Hahn was been named North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year in 2011 and 2020.
Hahn has not publicly addressed the controversy or his suspension.