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Dan Dakich Under Fire Again, Deletes Twitter, Returns Later

“As of Sunday, Feb. 28, Emmis has not publicly commented on Dakich’s latest hot water incident.”

Brandon Contes

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What began as a Twitter debate over Jalen Johnson’s departure from Duke Basketball, took a strange turn for sports radio host and ESPN analyst Dan Dakich last week. 

As Sean Keeley of Awful Announcing details, it started when Duke lecturing fellow Nathan Kalman-Lamb called out a number of college basketball analysts who were critical of Johnson’s decision to opt-out mid-season.

“Here are some more of the fine folks so unrepentant about the fact that their careers are built entirely on the unpaid labor of young people that they will also gleefully attempt to publicly humiliate them,” Kalman-Lamb wrote in a Twitter thread, citing Dakich, Jeff Goodman, Doug Gottlieb, Seth Davis and Jon Rothstein among others. 

Dakich pushed back on the thought that college athletes are unpaid labor, writing “players get paid ..in cash ..a bunch.” 

In addition to working for ESPN and hosting his own radio show on WFNI The Fan in Indianapolis, Dakich is a former college basketball player and coach who understands its infrastructure well.

After the two engaged on Twitter, Dakich noted “much more from me coming,” and ultimately blocked Kalman-Lamb, but not before others entered the conversation, including Dr. Andrew McGregor of Dallas College and historian Dr. Johanna Mellis who co-hosts a podcast on capitalist sport, labor, and justice. 

Dakich continued to argue against the idea that student-athletes are wrongly compensated because of an unfair labor system within college sports. 

It’s inarguable that college athletes give more to their school and sport than they receive in return, but should that make them exempt from critical analysis? Noting Duke has played better since Johnson decided to opt-out is not a damning accusation, it’s an obvious evaluation of an athlete who’s in line to land a contract worth more than $10 million later this year. 

But most college athletes won’t be afforded similar salaries and the idea of education being fair compensation for their contributions is shameful. Those arguing against Dakich took it a step further, noting the education student-athletes receive is “less than optimal.” That’s where Dakich took a sharp turn, claiming it was “racist or sexist” to allege student-athletes are unable to receive a quality education even though the sport they play takes precedent. 

Dakich also went down an odd path on his radio show last week after explaining the Twitter exchange to his listening audience. In the break-down, he mentioned a tweet from Dr. Mellis, a former Division 1 swimmer who suggested “let’s go at it in the pool.” 

“I had somebody come at me. Buncha academics last night,” Dakich said on his radio show according to Awful Announcing. “Two guys and a lady, right? Two guys and a lady came at me. And they said, ‘well, you’re yelling at student-athletes while they’re being exploited’ or something, and I said, ‘look, maybe, but I…I was in the arena and you guys were sitting outside bitching. Now, remember, it was two girls…two men and one lady. Guess what that got called? Sexist. (Laughs) Be careful. I didn’t even realize, I just said bitching because it’s what people do. 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 I said outside the arena, 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 gonna have to get divorced, and then it’s just gonna be a problem.”

The pool comments from Dakich were a poor choice of words, especially coming from someone who claimed it’s sexist to question the quality of education received by student-athletes. According to Ina Kennedy of the Chatham-Kent Sports Network, Dakich also recited the spelling of Kalman-Lamb’s name, noted his Duke office hours and called him a “d-bag” to his radio audience. 

Dakich is no stranger to controversy, his brash approach to media is part of what makes him a popular radio host, but that doesn’t excuse crossing obvious lines. In 2019, Dakich was suspended by The Fan’s ownership Emmis Communications for “a failure…on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis.” He was also under investigation by Emmis last year when he threatened to “beat the hell out of every school board member” in response to a high school basketball coach getting fired. 

As of Sunday, Feb. 28, Emmis has not publicly commented on Dakich’s latest hot water incident. 

ESPN issued a statement saying that it is taking the incident seriously.

https://twitter.com/kylekoster/status/1366150145444880387?s=12

Dakich deactivated his Twitter account on Sunday morning but by that evening was back on the social media platform.

https://twitter.com/dandakich/status/1366196513672724488?s=20
https://twitter.com/dandakich/status/1366196893953511434?s=20

Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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