Dan Dakich

There are a lot of different things that are fascinating about Gregg Doyel’s latest Indianapolis Star column on Dan Dakich. One is that this column was written at all; while there’s lots of criticism of sports media figures, including at this site over its history, it’s highly unusual to see one established media figure publicly criticize another figure they’ve long had a relationship with. To Doyel‘s credit, he fully spells out his history with Dakich, including his past praise of him, their past discussions of sensitive subjects, a one-time speaking arrangement Dakich(seen above in 2018) set up for him (with intentions of making their speaker pairing a wider thing), an offer Dakich (seen above) once provided of a place to stay (which Doyel didn’t take), and more. And that makes Doyel‘s ultimate criticisms here hit far harder:

He’s disintegrating, right before our eyes.

This is the story I never wanted to write, because once upon a time I saw the best in Dakich. I don’t see it anymore. His best is gone, replaced by the caricature he created and has become, though he’s in the process of erasing it, and himself, one appalling act at a time.

…Back to that Scottsburg rant, when Dakich said the Indiana town was full of “meth and AIDS and needles” and urged listeners to “take a dump” in Scottsburg. Dakich denied calling a kid “a meth head” last week, but an IndyStar reporter has a copy of the March 2020 audio and shared it on Twitter to set the record straight.

So is that why I’m writing this story, now? Honestly, yes. Because enough’s enough. Check that tweet from my colleague. See the replies, see how many local residents Dakich has gone after from his perch as an IU basketball coach-turned-radio host with 150,000 Twitter followers. That’s a fraction of the fights this spiteful bully has picked over the years. Enough.

Here’s that Twitter post, from Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Star, which came in response to Dakich’s latest rant against the paper (over their reporting on the 10-year-old girl who left Ohio for an abortion in Indiana, which was eventually proven accurate despite widespread criticism):

There are a few things worth keeping in mind here. One is that this is only the latest sports media case of a controversy over station-deleted audio. The most notable one may be the infamous alleged WFAN tapes of comments from Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo after 9/11; Kevin Draper and Nick Martin got close to that in an early-2017 investigation published at the old Deadspin (RIP), but couldn’t get the tapes with the most inflammatory supposed comments on a “loyalty oath,” which Craig Carton has since said were purposefully “deleted on orders from executives high above those that ran WFAN.”

What’s fascinating about this particular dustup on Scottsburg, Indiana is that Dakich’s station tried to scrub the record, but Hunsinger Benbow downloaded the clip before they could, and has now republished it at the Star. And this is certainly a useful reminder that it’s good to download inflammatory sports radio audio when possible. Many stations have shown very little commitment to preserving the record of what ran on their airwaves, instead preferring to try and delete what might wind up embarrassing for them. And without Hunsinger Benbow’s download here, there might not be a full record of what Dakich said.

As per Dakich in general, he currently hosts a 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. show on Indianapolis ESPN Radio affiliate 107.5 The Fan, and also hosts a 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. show on Clay Travis’ Outkick. He called regular college basketball games for ESPN for a long while, but hasn’t been doing that since taking the Outkick gig last fall. However, he is a commentator for some of ESPN’s broadcasts of The Basketball Tournament, a summer event featuring former college basketball players. He also hosted a golf tournament Monday, and tweeted several times Monday about “lies” from the Star and the “liberal media”:


It seems clear that this isn’t the end of the feud between Dakich and Doyel. We’ll see where it goes from here.



About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.