Earlier on Wednesday, Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa News broke the news that Eli Gold will no longer be the voice of Alabama football after 35 years in the broadcast booth for the Crimson Tide. Kelly also confirmed that long-time voice of Alabama basketball Chris Stewart would take over play-by-play for the football team.

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Just before Alabama took on Florida in men's basketball on Wednesday night, Tide 100.9 caught up with Chris Stewart about what Gold meant to Alabama and what the position move means for him. You can read Chris Stewart's comments here.

Wednesday evening, Gold went on air with Ryan Fowler to discuss the move and what is next for him and his career. Here is what the voice of Alabama football had to say:

"Everything is well. It's been a tough day, but the thing that has to be remembered is that I am as healthy as a horse. Healthy, I am not sick, I'm in great shape now. The university had every right to make the change at the microphone if they wanted, and they told me they were going in a different direction. Whether I agreed or not, it was their right to do so."

Gold reminisced on the start of his career voicing Alabama.

"I started in 1988 doing basketball. I did the 88-89 basketball season, and then my first football season was '89."

How did Gold find out he was not returning for the 2024 season?

"I got the message through a series of meetings, and then it was confirmed to me on a Zoom phone call with Greg Byrne and my boss Jim Carabin. It was confirmed last week. We discussed a few options, a few things they wanted to do for me, as far as tickets and what have you. It turns out I did not accept that package, and we decided to go our separate ways, but this was a university decision. I had no intention of leaving; I am not retiring. I am going to be going to work elsewhere. It's not a retirement situation, it's not a health situation. As I said, I'm very very healthy, thank God, after my battle with cancer, but the university had every right to go in a different direction, and that's what they've chosen to do."

What were some of the things Byrne and the university offered Gold?

"Originally, A-Day was an option, but that has since been taken off the table. There's no need [to allude to anything else]. The university was fair in offering me some tickets in the future and parking for the future and things of that nature. But, there were also some things in the contract that I did not agree with, and it was finally all just taken off the table, as was the full press release. The release they put out today was a stripped-down version of a press release that we had originally agreed to. But, they chose to put out a stripped-down version, and that was that. Again, that's their right. I worked at the pleasure of the university; my contract is up in June. They're going to honor my contract through the end of June, but I will not be doing A-Day."

Gold also talked about radio still having a place despite the rise of television.

"There's still a wonderful relationship between the radio broadcaster and the listener. The difference on TV, is that one week it's Verne Lundquist, and the next week it was somebody else. The week after that it was somebody else. Then the next week was going to be Verne again, and the week after that someone else. There was no consistency. Radio will always have that romantic relationship between the person speaking bringing the fans their favorite team. So, sports on the radio will always continue because there will always be that relationship between the play-by-play person and the listener at home. So that's the thing I'm taking from this that I'll never, ever lose: the relationship that our listeners have allowed me to participate in for 36 years. Being able to come into their homes and lives, wherever they are. There are so many people who have welcomed me, and what they're really doing is welcoming the Crimson Tide into their homes. I happen the conduit of that information. But I'll never forget these relationships and these people. The fans have been so spectacular. I tell everybody, that the fans' names may not be on the bottom of my check, but they're who I work for. I work for the fans who love the University of Alabama. I always have, and I will always carry a piece of that community in my heart wherever I go. This is not going to do anything to change that. It's sad; I'm disappointed that the university chose to go in a different direction, but again, that's their right. We leave it at that."

Was Gold's departure performance-based?

"Some of it was. They said I wasn't living up to the standard. That's very subjective. There was an indication that I had lost a step, or two, or three, while I was gone battling cancer, and I've come back and I didn't do the job that I should have. I don't necessarily agree, as I don't think they would expect me to agree, but if I felt that I was not doing the job, I would have stepped down. I was not going to embarrass myself or the university. I care too much for those entities. I don't know all the input, we had some disagreements on a few things, and it was time I guess when they decided to do something different. There's nothing I can do. I'm a freelance, 1099 contract laborer if you will."

Eli Gold had a message for the fans as well.

"I would say thank you. Coach Saban left me a nice, lengthy voicemail, and it was very sincere. We do, and have always, gotten along very well, and he was wonderful on the phone today. I'm going to miss the fans. If they're going to miss me, I appreciate that. I love bringing them their favorite team. It's not so much Eli as it is the message I was conveying. The message was, 'Here's how your Crimson Tide is doing, winning, losing, championships, what have you. I was the guy bringing their favorite team to them, in the car, in the house, wherever it was. So they're going to miss me, and I appreciate that. I'm not thrilled by any stretch; I had no intention, I did not retire, I did not step down, and the university said 'Your time is done, and we're going in a different direction.' I'm not going to say I was thrilled with that, but I also respect that it is the university's choice and decision, and I worked at their pleasure. If they were done with me, then so be it."

Is there a memory that resonates the most with Gold?

"There's so many of them. From a game standpoint, it's all the national championships. The other thing is the people, the players who I have met and worked with over the years. My wife and I were down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, and we were sitting in the hotel having breakfast, and here came former players and guys coming up. We recaptured some memories. I the game; I love the university. This is not going to sour me on the University of Alabama. I'm disappointed with how this whole thing went down. But the memories are all going to be great. The fans have been wonderful, they have been so magnificent. The fans' support with people checking in when I was sick, and sending all these letters and cards and what have you. I can't say enough about the fans, and that's who I worked for. Like I said, they didn't sign my check, but that's who I've worked for for these last 36 years. And I will never, ever, ever forget that. I worked for the fans, so there have been so many memories, but you know, that's what makes up life. I guess everything comes to an end at one point or another. 

Gold reiterated that he is not retiring.

But, I am not stopping to work. I have signed a contract, it'll be released on Friday of this week, with a pro sports franchise, with whom I'll be doing a radio broadcast. I am looking around also for any other collegiate jobs that might exist. I don't know if there are any out there, but I'm looking because I am not ready to retire. Thank God my health is 1,000% good. That's the way life goes on."

Gold had one final comment.

"I'm not going to blast people. Do I agree with their decision? Certainly not, but I'm not going to blast anybody. Life's too short, man. I'm not an old man, but I'm old enough to know I don't need to hassle by blasting people, so I'm not going to do that. It's sad, I'm disappointed about it, no doubt about that, but life goes on."

You can listen to the full interview between Eli Gold and Ryan Fowler here:

Listen to The Game with Ryan Fowler on weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on Tide 100.9 and streaming on the Tide 100.9 app. 

Iconic Photos From Alabama's 18 National Championships

Claimed or recognized, no FBS football program has more national championships than the Tide. Look back on all 18 titles in Alabama history with these photos.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison