Controversial radio host Dan Dakich isn’t losing any sleep worrying about his future as an ESPN college basketball analyst.
Dakich’s heated social media feud with male and female college professors in late February prompted an ESPN investigation. Now that the season is over, Dakich isn’t expected to get another shot at color commentary.
“I don’t know if ESPN is going to have me back. I assume they won’t,” Dakich said on his radio program on WFNI The Fan in Indianapolis, according to USA Today. “Who cares? Who cares man?”
Dakich was discussing the life of Indiana basketball icon Bobby “Slick” Leonard, who died Tuesday. Leonard was 88 years old and served as a reminder to Dakich to not be preoccupied with what others think of you.
“You know let ’em come at you,” Dakich said. “I love the fact that a month ago all these bullets were flying my way from the most woke … I love it. It’s the best thing that ever happened, regardless of what happens.”
A female professor at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania said she felt “violated” by Dakich after he used the word “bitching” in a Twitter argument. She also claimed that Dakich “sexualized” a reference she made to being a former college swimmer.
The root of the dispute was Dakich suggesting that Duke freshman Jalen Johnson quit on the team by opting out of the season with six games remaining and the Blue Devils headed for the rare failure of missing the NCAA Tournament. Dakich was not alone in this opinion among media members, but he wound up in a back-and-forth over Twitter with Duke lecturing fellow Nathan Kalman-Lamb and Dr. Johanna Mellis of Ursinus, who hosts a podcast on sports and labor issues.
Mellis challenged Dakich to a race in the pool. His attempt to clarify his remarks on his radio program only landed him in further hot water.
“I just said ‘bitching’ because it’s what people do,” Dakich said as a reference to complaining. “It’s what everybody does, everybody just bitches. But that’s sexist apparently because I said bitching and a lady was in the conversation.
“And then she wanted to, quote, go at it in the pool. Well, if you go at it in a pool, that’s a public place and then I’m going to get divorced, and then it’s just going to be a problem.”
Dakich, 58, played and was an assistant coach at Indiana under fiery legend Bobby Knight – they had a falling out in the years that followed – and later was the head coach at Bowling Green from 1997-2007. He was the interim coach at his alma mater following Kelvin Sampson’s resignation in 2008.
Dakich joined ESPN in 2010. He was suspended by WFNI for five days in 2019 for failing to “adhere to journalistic principles.”
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