Sports talk show host and ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich is being investigated by the network for comments he made on Twitter and his WFNI The Fan radio show this week.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of looking into it,” ESPN spokesperson Anna Negron said after Dakich engaged in a back-and-forth with three college professors.
Nathan Kalman-Lamb, a lecturing fellow at Duke University, accusing Dakich of misogyny in a Twitter exchange with Dr. Johanna Mellis, an assistant professor in the history department at Ursinus College who hosts a a podcast on sports and labor issues.
Here are five things to know about Dakich:
Dan Dakich quit as West Virginia’s coach after a week
Dakich was hired by West Virginia in April of 2002 but quit on April 12, citing a possible NCAA rule violation according to an Associated Press story, and returned to coach at Bowling Green.
“We are deeply shocked and disappointed in coach Dakich’s decision,” West Virginia president David Hardesty said in The Associated Press story.
Dakich later said there was more to his decision.
Dakich told The New York Times in 2012 that Jonathan Hargett, a star recruit, had been promised $20,000 a year for three years and that he was tired of people “owning” him. A university investigation determined Hargett had received money from a runner for an agent.
Here is more from the story:
After speaking with Hargett, Dakich approached David Hardesty, then the university’s president. Dakich said he told Hardesty about Western Union receipts that seemed to show Hargett had received money in violation of N.C.A.A. rules. He also relayed Hargett’s comments that the university had not paid him money that had been promised to him.
Dakich recalls Hardesty telling him, “If you go any farther with this, we’ll destroy you.”
Hardesty called Dan and Jackie (then Dan’s wife) Dakich’s story a “gross exaggeration.” He said he remembered the meeting as one where he was trying to keep Dakich at West Virginia.
“I cannot remember the words that were said,” he said. “I did not intend to threaten him. At no time in this process did I do that. That would be so strange.”
Dan Dakich stops Michael Jordan in 1984 NCAA Tournament
Michael Jordan averaged 19.6 points on 55.1% shooting and 5.3 rebounds for a North Carolina team that went 28-3 and was ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll in 1983-84.
But he shot 6-of-14 for 13 points and a single rebound in a 72-68 loss in his final college game.
Dakich was guarding him.
“Coach is kind of pacing up and down talking about the starting lineup,” Dakich said in “Game of My Life” for Inside Indiana Magazine. “He said, ‘(Steve) Alford, you’ve got Kenny Smith. Marty Simmons, you’ve got Matt Doherty. Uwe (Blab), you’ve got Brad Daugherty. Dakich, you’ve got Jordan.
“He got this sick look on his face.”
Dakich averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 assists per game and was not a regular starter. Dakich acknowledges he got plenty of help but the defense on Jordan was a key part in the Hoosiers’ upset victory.
“Guys will tell me, ‘The only thing you ever did was guard Michael Jordan.’ I wasn’t an All-American. I wasn’t a draft choice. I didn’t play in the NBA. It’s all kind of crazy,” Dakich told Inside Indiana Magazine. “(Former IU assistant coach Jim) Crews told me the next year, ‘Jordan’s going to be the best player in the history of basketball, and you’ll be known as the guy who stopped him.’ I said, ‘Well, first of all, you and I both know I didn’t stop him.’ And then I said, ‘Coach, you’re crazy. He’s not going to be the best basketball player.’”
Dan Dakich was Indiana’s interim coach for 7 games in 2008
When Kelvin Sampson resigned due to an investigation into recruiting violations, Dakich, Indiana’s director of basketball operations, was named interim coach. He went 3-4, including losing an NCAA Tournament game vs. Arkansas, and the Hoosiers finished 25-8.
Dakich dismissed starters Armon Bassett, third-team All-Big Ten, and Jamarcus Ellis, after missing a first prearranged appointment the previous week and then not reporting for a 6 a.m. punishment run the following day, sources told IndyStar in 2008.
Tom Crean was hired as IU’s coach for the 2007-08 season and Dakich started his radio career.
Dan Dakich was Bowling Green’s coach for 10 seasons
Dakich was named Bowling Green coach in 1997 after serving as an IU assistant for 12 seasons. He was 156-140, the third most in wins by a coach in program history, and won the 2000 MAC regular season championship, but never made an NCAA Tournament. He had a losing season in three of his final four seasons.
“You overcome a lot of things here, but it taught me that we can really coach,” Dakich told the Northwest Times of Indiana after leaving Bowling Green. “We had more injuries than any team here. I think seven of my 10 years, we lost our leading scorer to an injury and we end up with the second-highest winning percentage and third all-time wins in school history in spite of that.”
Dakich told the Northwest Times that coaching All-American Len Matela, an Andrean High School grad, winning the 2000 MAC championship, beating Michigan 65-59 in 2001 and having all of his four-year players graduate were among his biggest thrills.
Dan Dakich is involved in community efforts
Dakich has been involved in promoting a number of causes through his radio program and celebrity.
Included was bringing attention to Brody Stephens, an 8-year-old from New Palestine, Indiana, who battled leukemia until he died due to a viral complication. Brody Stephens loved basketball and received apparel from Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving, was featured on SportsCenter and recognized at an Indiana Pacers game.
Dakich has promoted Quit Now, an effort to help people quit tobacco due to his own use of smokeless tobacco. He and his wife, Leigh, have started Dakich Cycles for the City, which distributes bikes to kids in need in Indianapolis.
Follow IndyStar Deputy Sports Editor Nat Newell on Twitter: @NatJNewell.