The 2022 Duke’s Mayo Bowl was a fun event full of light-hearted fun and festivities. They included a guy in the crowd chugging mayonnaise, ESPN announcers pigging out on deviled eggs, and Maryland’s head coach Mike Locksley getting doused in mayo after his Terps defeated NC State. However, up in the Wolfpack radio booth, play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn was randomly injecting a dark reference into a score update that quickly got him suspended.
Hahn was providing a score update from the Sun Bowl in El Paso when he decided to add some Fox News-esque commentary on the situation.
“One other bowl game involving an ACC team going on, that’s the Sun Bowl,” said Hahn. “And amongst all the illegal aliens down in El Paso, it’s UCLA 14 and Pittsburgh 6.”
AUDIO: Here’s the clip that got NC State play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn suspended indefinitely.
“Amongst all the illegal aliens in El Paso,” he says before listing the score of the Sun Bowl.@WRAL pic.twitter.com/51Wh0sh4E2
— Keenan Willard (@KeenanWRAL) December 30, 2022
Hahn was presumably referencing the recent surge of migrants who crossed the Rio Grande, causing overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities and shelters in El Paso. While the framing of “illegal aliens” is an alarmist term meant to sow distrust and paint them as unwelcome criminals, an El Paso government website says “the people crossing come from all parts of the world to escape economic devastation and extreme crime.”
As an employee of Learfield Communications, which owns the rights to NC State broadcasts, they were the ones to announce that Hahn has been suspended indefinitely after the game.
“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,” Wolfpack Sports Properties general manager Kyle Winchester said in a statement that was relayed by the school to the News & Observer.
While we wait to find out if Hahn will lose his job over the unnecessary commentary or what he might have to say following the suspension, the college football world had some strong reactions to his disturbing phrasing.
“This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say,” said Channel 8 Sports’ Ben Swain.
This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say lol wtf https://t.co/qM0XwNaWG0
— Ben Swain (@TheBenSwain) December 30, 2022
“If Gary Hahn thought what he said was appropriate for a broadcast, imagine what kind of truly awful s*** he has in the chamber for private conversations,” said Mike Beauvais.
“Dawg he didn’t even pause or nothing to think about what he was gonna say that’s insane behavior,” said SB Nation’s JP Acosta.
Dawg he didn’t even pause or nothing to think about what he was gonna say that’s insane behavior https://t.co/A3rFkimZ1n
— JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp) December 30, 2022
“The casual, efficient nature of the career immolation here,” stated Split Zone Duo’s Alex Kirschner.
The casual, efficient nature of the career immolation here https://t.co/Ck61B0NVk4
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) December 30, 2022
“Had the pleasure of going to El Paso twice this year. Out of all the great things you could mention about the city (incredible hospitality, great food, etc), if one decides to make an illegal alien joke they absolutely deserve to be suspended,” wrote Underdog Dynasty’s Eric Henry.
Had the pleasure of going to El Paso twice this year. Out of all the great things you could mention about the city (incredible hospitality, great food, etc), if one decides to make an illegal alien joke they absolutely deserve to be suspended. https://t.co/cePLjNGzO3
— Eric Henry (@EricCHenry_) December 30, 2022
“Another reminder why we need more diversity in this biz,” said Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez.
Another reminder why we need more diversity in this biz. https://t.co/4CAIT0uyx9
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) December 30, 2022
[Awful Announcing, News & Observer, Keenan Willard, Image via Connor Heinan]