ESPN is looking into alleged comments byt college basketball analyst Dan Dakich last week during an argument about monetary compensation — or lack thereof — to collegiate athletes. During the back-and-forth, Dakich went after several academics who disagreed with him, using Twitter and his Indianapolis radio show to do so.
Asked whether Dakich would take part in the network’s broadcasts this week, an ESPN spokesperson told USA Today: “We are taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of looking into it.”
The row was over Duke star Jalen Johnson. Johnson announced in February that he would skip the remainder of the college basketball season and declare for the 2021 NBA draft. On February 20th Dakich tweeted, “Tell me again how Duke isn’t better without Jalen Johnson.”
Duke lecturing fellow and host of the “End of Sport” podcast Dr. Nathan Kalman-Lamb called out Dakich and another sports journalist for building their careers “entirely on the unpaid labor of young people” who, continued Kalman-Lamb, “they will also gleefully attempt to publicly humiliate.”
During the dispute, Dakich ripped into Dr. Kalman-Lamb and his podcast co-host Dr. Johanna Mellis, reportedly using sexist and misogynistic language during the back-and-forth. Dakich later deleted his Twitter account.
Dakich played college basketball for Indiana under coach Bob Knight from 1981 to 1985. He was an assistant coach at Indiana under Knight when the program won a national title in 1987. He was a head coach for over a decade before becoming the interim head coach at Indiana at the end of the 2008.
He currently hosts Dakich “The Dan Dakich Show” on the ESPN radio affiliate in Indianapolis, WFNI. He is also heard in that market on The Fan 93.5. In November 2010, Dakich joined ESPN as color commentator and studio analyst for its a college basketball coverage.
In October 2019, Dakich was suspended from his show for failing “to adhere to the journalistic principles” of WFNI.
More recently Dakich, commenting on the firing of a high school basketball coach, called a player a “methhead” and threatened, “I may just drive down there and beat the hell out of every school board member.” He also said the town where the high school was located was full of “meth and AIDS and needles.”
At one point, there was a Change.org petition to have ESPN ban Dackich from announcing IU games.
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