Dakich Quits After Week At West Virginia, Returns To Bowling Green - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Dakich Quits After Week At West Virginia, Returns To Bowling Green

By JOHN RABY, AP Sports Writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Dan Dakich quit as West Virginia's basketball coach a week after being hired, citing a possible NCAA rules violation at the school last season, and will return to Bowling Green.

"During the transition process, a possible violation of an NCAA rule that may have occurred during the past season was brought to the attention of Dakich and myself," West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong said Friday.

The school said it was looking into the amateur status of a player on last year's team and had notified the NCAA and the Big East conference.

"We are deeply shocked and disappointed in coach Dakich's decision," West Virginia president David Hardesty said.

Dakich (pictured, above) was traveling to Bowling Green on Friday and will be that school's coach again next season, sports information director J.D. Campbell said.

Dakich could not be reached immediately for comment Friday.

He told Hardesty of his decision Thursday night, then told West Virginia's players Friday.

"We didn't know anything about it," junior forward Josh Yeager said. "All I know is the coach came into the workout this morning and told us he resigned."

He left Bowling Green after five years to join West Virginia, agreeing on a five-year, $2.5 million contract last week. He met with his West Virginia players for the first time last Friday -- and kicked five of them out of the meeting when they arrived several minutes late.

Dakich sought to restructure the terms of his contract after his personal evaluation of the team, Pastilong said.

Hardesty said the contract was never signed.

"That's certainly a lesson for us all," the president said. "We thought we had agreed to the final terms on two occasions. We were paragraphs away from a contract that was to be signed this morning.

"We were not willing to restructure the economic terms of his contract as aggressively as he wanted. We were willing to extend his contract."

The coach went 89-57 at Bowling Green, but failed to make a trip to the NCAA tournament. The Falcons went 24-9 last season -- the school's most victories in more than half a century -- and played in the NIT for the second time in three years.

Dakich spent 16 years as a player or assistant coach under Bob Knight at Indiana.

West Virginia will have to go back to what already had been an extended coaching search. Before hiring Dakich to try to turn around a team that lost 20 games last season, West Virginia had failed to land Cincinnati's Bob Huggins, an alumnus. Stan Heath, Jeff Lebo and Bruce Weber also withdrew from consideration.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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