Flip Flop: Brown and Dakich Vie for Best Story Reneging on Coaching Job
New SMU bench boss Larry Brown began his nomadic head coaching career by resigning following only a couple of months at Davidson's helm in 1969. Brown reportedly departed primarily because the Wildcats didn't increase their recruiting budget and lower high academic requirements for prospective recruits. He was also annoyed about the school's summer basketball camp and receiving bills for his temporary residence and carpeting he ordered for his office.
Reducing academic standards has triggered an abundance of exceptions - scholastically challenged "prize prospects" who don't meet a school's usual admission standards but gain entry because of their special athletic talent. In other words, a classless institution of lower learning "looks the other way" when being more attracted to someone adept at throwing a no-look pass than exhibiting a citadel of higher learning focusing more on authentic students infinitely more capable of passing a genuine college class.
But Brown Out has competition for the most unusual tale for walking away from a new coaching position. In a sidebar to an account regarding prize West Virginia recruit Jonathan Hargett closing in on finishing a five-year prison sentence, the New York Times reported that Dan Dakich bolted in 2002 about a week after accepting a seven-year, $3.5 million contract upon discerning the "culture of dishonesty" in the Mountaineers' program, including Hargett telling him he had not been paid the full amount of money promised ($20,000 annually).
Dakich, now one of ESPN's most credible commentators, said he told David Hardesty, then the university's president, about Western Union receipts showing Hargett had received money. According to the NYT, Dakich recalls Hardesty threatening him, "If you go any further with this, we'll destroy you."
Hardesty, now a law professor at the school, told the NYT: "I would never condone a corrupt program." Wonder what his classroom stance is on truth serum or the admission of a lie detector test if he and Dakich could be hooked up to help weigh the honesty of Hardesty's assertion that Dakich's story is a "gross exaggeration" and "revisionist history."
A tragic tale unfolded in Evansville's initial season at the NCAA Division I level in 1977-78 when coach Bobby Watson and 13 members of his Purple Aces squad perished in a plane crash moments after taking off en route to their fifth game of the season. Watson, a Vietnam veteran with five Purple Hearts, was hired after former UE All-American Jerry Sloan, who went on to a distinguished coaching career with the NBA's Utah Jazz, had been named coach of the Purple Aces before abruptly changing his mind.
|Coach||Shunned School/Team (Year)||Subsequent Hire|
|Creighton's Dana Altman||Arkansas (2007)||John Pelphrey|
|Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Ken Anderson||Wisconsin (1982)||Steve Yoder|
|Oakland Oaks (ABA) guard Larry Brown||Davidson (1969)||Terry Holland|
|Capital's Vince Chickerella||Cincinnati (1972)||Gale Catlett|
|Capital's Vince Chickerella||Kent State (1978)||Ed Douma|
|Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins||South Carolina (1993)||Eddie Fogler|
|Bowling Green's Dan Dakich||West Virginia (2002)||John Beilein|
|Florida's Billy Donovan||NBA's Orlando Magic (2007)||Stan Van Gundy|
|North Carolina assistant Bill Guthridge||Penn State (1978)||Dick Harter|
|Texas-El Paso's Don Haskins||Detroit (1969)||Jim Harding|
|Kansas State's Jack Hartman||Oklahoma State (1977)||Jim Killingsworth|
|ESPN analyst Rick Majerus||Southern California (2005)||Tim Floyd|
|Winthrop's Gregg Marshall||College of Charleston (2006)||Bobby Cremins|
|Appalachian State's Buzz Peterson||Southwest Missouri State (1999)||Barry Hinson|
|Chicago Bulls scout Jerry Sloan||Evansville (1977)||Bobby Watson|
|Dartmouth's Gary Walters||Davidson (1976)||Dave Pritchett|