INDIANAPOLIS — ESPN has talked with college basketball analyst Dan Dakich about his recent Twitter controversy in which a woman college professor accused him of misogynistic speech.
A person with knowledge of the situation told IndyStar on Wednesday that ESPN had addressed the situation directly with Dakich and “made their concerns very clear to him,” adding that those conversations would not be made public. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
ESPN confirmed Wednesday that Dakich is still employed as a college basketball analyst for the network, a job he’s held since 2010.
That comes after ESPN said Sunday it was investigating Dakich.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of looking into it,” the network told IndyStar.
Dakich also hosts an afternoon sports radio show on Indianapolis-based WFNI The Fan. Emmis Communications, which owns the station, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the latest Dakich controversy.
The conversations between ESPN and Dakich follow a recent Twitter dispute over college athlete compensation in which Dakich debated several college professors on Feb. 23. One of those, Dr. Johanna Mellis, accused him of misogynist actions after she challenged him to a swimming competition.
When Dakich asked whether teachers knew anything about sports, Dr. Johanna Mellis responded to Dakich on Twitter : “Dan you want to play in the ‘arena?’ Let’s level the playing field a bit: I used to swim upwards of 10,000 yards in practice sometimes. I’ve done 10x100s butterfly, 10x400IMs, and one time 10×1000 freestyles for time. It’s brutal, but yeah let’s go at it in the pool.”
Mellis said in an email to IndyStar that she was asking that they race in the pool, but Dakich took it another direction. He responded with a tweet that has since been deleted, saying he would have to get divorced from his wife first.
“Through his use of the b-word and the way he sexualized my clear reference to racing in the pool, he debased and violated me according to my identity over the public airwaves for all to hear,” Mellis wrote.
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Dakich used the word “bitching” when referring to Mellis and some male professors the next day, Feb. 24. He did not name the professors and noted on his show this week (March 2) he never violated their privacy.
On his WFNI The Fan radio webpage, Dakich describes himself as “having opinions about everything and afraid of nothing.”
But his contentious comments have gotten him into trouble in recent years.
Not the first controversy
In March 2020, Dakich went on a five-minute tirade in which he lambasted the firing of the head coach of Scottsburg (Ind.) High, while simultaneously insulting the town and school.
He called a player a “meth head,” the town full of “meth and AIDS and needles,” urged listeners to “take a dump” in Scottsburg and threatened, “I may just drive down there and beat the hell out of every school board member.”
Emmis told IndyStar at the time it was “aware of the statements made by Dan Dakich earlier this week and we continue to investigate the issue.”
Dakich was not publicly punished for the tirade.
In 2019, Dakich was suspended by Emmis for “a failure last year on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis.” Emmis did not elaborate on what led to Dakich’s five-day suspension, nor did Dakich respond to a request for comment from IndyStar last year.
Dakich’s Twitter account is now deleted, something he said Wednesday on his show was the best decision he has made.