Dan Dakich: What Are You Thinking?

Derek Willis, Keely Potts (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

When you were a kid did anyone ever say something to you that was mean and hurtful? Maybe a teacher, coach, neighbor or even a relative. Something that was mean-spirited and uncalled for? It hurt. It really hurt. No matter what others said to try to make it go away it still stuck with you. Maybe even to this day you still think about it. We all have been there. That’s why it is amazing to me that grown men – adults – feel the need to bash kids about their personal lives and performance in sports.

When did we become a society that feels it is okay to bash kids for their performance – or lack of – in a sporting contest? Is there nothing else to talk about so we have to pick at things to create some type of controversy?

The latest of many is the always ignorant comments from former Indiana basketball player and coach Dan Dakich. He made the mistake of commenting on how players – specifically Derek Willis – spend their money for personal things like tattoos. His conclusion was that NCAA players do not need to get paid because they appear to have plenty of money to spend on tattoos. Stupidity at its finest.

But that is only the latest. Other analysts – like Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland of the SEC Network and ESPN – felt that it was necessary to publicly bash Matt Elam because his career has not met the expectations of the analysts that listed him as a four star football recruit out of high school. Do they know Matt Elam’s personal situation? Do they know anything at all about Matt Elam except that he is a name on a page of notes for their use as a tool to try to draw viewers?

Like Derek Willis – Matt Elam is a person with goals , aspirations and feelings like each one of us. Knowing that – and thinking back to your own years as a child and young adult – you know that words hurt. They hurt a lot. Public shame hurts a lot also. And there is no place for it in college sports for kids who are playing a game and receiving no compensation for it except a college scholarship.

So the next time you see an injustice like that occurring – call them out. Just like the BBN is doing to Dan Dakich. Don’t stoop to their level but let them know it is not okay to purposely hurt people’s feelings and quite possibly damage their lives in the chase to get ratings and viewers. Maybe if everyone took a stand like the BBN this madness would stop.

In the words of Edmund Burke “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

Let’s not be part of that group.


  1. Not a fan of Dakich for sure. That said, I don’t see to much wrong with being critical of a highly touted player as long as you do it in the right way, and don’t get mean spirited and nasty. These gifted athletes are not kids, they are young men. They will face a lot more in life than snide remarks from people like Dakich. Ignore the negative comments and go make plays, and then make millions. Willis will be OK.

    As for Booger McFarland and Greg McElroy, and their show, they are turning out to be a couple of clowns IMO. The only ones who probably laugh at their jokes are themselves. What a couple of “Glory Dogs” they come across as. I will be surprised if that show lasts. They have absolutely no class in the way they present football analysis. They give UK no shot anytime, at least I have not heard them do so, I could be wrong. That said, UK has a lot of proving ground to make up when it comes to football. Stoops is recruiting well, and a top 10 class may be inbound. That has to help for future UK success. The way to silence all critics is go “WIN!!!!”

  2. Dakich is a nobody Hoosier! He hates UK, so he picked a White UK player to use in his ignorant rant. Notice he didn’t pick an Afro American student, or a player from anywhere else because he would have been called a racist. He could pick any number of student athletes from all across America, but he chose Willis for a couple of nonsense reasons. He is just a complete IDIOT!!! GO CATS!!!

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