A very odd moment in the history of online college sports discussion happened Friday. Early Friday afternoon, Dan Dakich (the local Indianapolis and also Outkick radio host) posted a reply to @ajkorver71 on Twitter discussing the appearance of Iowa and Iowa State fans, using a downloaded and re-uploaded image of that user’s Twitter profile image. However, that image was not of the user (Andrew Korver), but rather of famed Iowa State fan Nick Bassett, who passed away Thursday. And that led to quite a reaction from Dakich (seen above in 2018) and from his management team at Indianapolis radio station 105.7 The Fan, as Dana Hunsinger Benbow of The Indianapolis Star wrote Saturday:
Dakich’s Twitter handle was trending Friday after the Twitter exchange garnered thousands of responses and many more calling for Dakich’s firing by Emmis Communications, the company that employs him.
“@EmmisComm one of your most visible people is out here using the picture of a recently-passed, disabled human, who was an inspiration to many, to shame and troll someone,” tweeted @IowaRallyYak. “You do you, but employing this kind of person is highly questionable.”
IndyStar reached out to Dakich’s program director at Emmis, David Wood, Friday night. He did not immediately respond.
He did respond to an Iowa State fan in an email posted to Twitter.
“Here is (what) Dan tweeted a short time ago,” Wood wrote. “I haven’t spoken with him, but I can tell you that Dan doesn’t apologize unprompted if he doesn’t mean it. I will be following up with him. Thanks for letting me know.”
And here is the “apology” Dakich posted Friday, claiming that his response was an attempt to save Bassett’s picture so he could comment on it later (in which case, surely a like or a save-as would have sufficed):
I apologize for the "look" of posting Nick Bassett's picture without context..the context was/is to remind me to talk about his story on my show today when discussing the Iowa Purdue game.
I know the story and had planned on talking about it at Noon..I missed it and was reminded
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) January 28, 2022
Dakich can obviously use social media however he prefers, and the management response in this instance suggests that his current practices are not going to receive criticism from above. But it is remarkable to see a media figure respond with a typical message-board-troll move of “your profile picture suggests you’re ugly.” And while it probably shouldn’t be expected that Dakich would know the context of Nick Bassett, it’s certainly interesting that he responded to criticism there with “I did know, and I intended this to mean something else.” This isn’t likely to lead to too much in the long run, as Dakich’s current media partners have proven to be fine with numerous controversial remarks from him, but it is interesting to see him respond to this particular one with “I knew the significance, but I didn’t think it would be seen this way.”