Dakich Abruptly Leaves West Virginia

From Wire Reports

Dan Dakich’s abrupt departure from West Virginia on Friday leaves more questions than answers.

Dakich quit as West Virginia’s men’s basketball coach a week after being hired, a decision the school said was based on a possible NCAA rules violation last season, and returned to Bowling Green.

In a news conference at Bowling Green, Dakich refused to say what led to his decision, but said he thought about leaving soon after taking the job with the Mountaineers.


Asked if the possible NCAA rules violation was the reason he left West Virginia, Dakich said, “No.”

“You just don’t make a decision that affects you and your family off of one thing,” he said. “I am not going to get into all the things that went on.”

West Virginia President David Hardesty disagreed.

“I’m kind of disturbed,” Hardesty said. “I just don’t think it’s one thing. I think it’s totally Coach Dakich. He went where he felt he needed to go.

“If it’s not a good fit, it’s not a good fit.”

West Virginia said it was looking into the amateur status of a player on last season’s team and had notified the NCAA and the Big East Conference.

Hardesty said the violation came to light when Dakich talked to players about last season.

“One player made a comment that gave him some concern,” Hardesty said.

Bob Knight’s son, a Texas Tech assistant athletic director, failed to pay the university for school merchandise he sent to a store he owned in Indiana, Texas Tech officials said.

Tim Knight did not commit a criminal act but used “poor accounting practices,” school spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley said.


The merchandise, about 900 miniature basketballs, some caps and media guides, were shipped to The General’s Store in Indianapolis. The store was owned by Tim Knight and operated by his mother, Nancy, the former wife of Bob Knight, men’s coach at Texas Tech.

Stanford center Curtis Borchardt, who led the Pacific 10 Conference in rebounding and blocked shots, has decided to make himself available for the NBA draft.

Nevada gave men’s coach Trent Johnson a three-year, $654,000 contract. Johnson led Nevada to a 17-13 record last season, the school’s best since finishing 21-10 in 1996-97.... Brad Soderberg, 39, became men’s coach at Saint Louis, one year after joining the Billikens as an assistant. He replaces Lorenzo Romar, who last week became coach at Washington.... Portland State men’s Coach Joel Sobotka, 31, resigned to pursue other coaching opportunities. He had a 53-59 record in four seasons with the Vikings.

Pro Football

As expected, eight-time Pro Bowl selection Shannon Sharpe rejoined the Denver Broncos, signing a free-agent deal with the team he helped win two Super Bowls during the 1990s.

Sharpe, 33, the NFL’s career leader in catches by a tight end with 692 and in yards receiving with 8,604, played with the Baltimore Ravens the last two seasons.

Free-agent quarterback Chris Chandler, 36, signed a three-year contract worth $4.5 million with the Chicago Bears to be Jim Miller’s backup.


With the Atlanta Falcons last season, Chandler passed for 2,847 yards and 16 touchdowns, and had a rating of 84.1 playing behind a line that gave up 41 sacks.

Chandler set a Falcon game record with 431 yards passing against Buffalo. The Falcons released Chandler in February.

The San Francisco 49ers signed two-time Pro Bowl guard Ron Stone to a four-year, $9-million contract. He played with the New York Giants the last two seasons.... Fullback Mike Alstott and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to extend the date the five-time Pro Bowl selection is to receive a $2-million roster bonus from April 15 to April 23.... The Oakland Raiders added depth to their offensive line, signing veteran Brad Badger to a one-year contract. He played with Minnesota the last two seasons. Financial terms were not released.... Quarterback Scott Covington signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, who probably will use him as a backup to starter Jon Kitna and No. 2 Akili Smith.

Motor Racing

Jeff Gordon followed his best race of the season with his best qualifying effort, rebounding from slow practice speeds to win the pole for the Virginia 500.

The defending Winston Cup champion, sixth in points after seven races, turned a lap at 94.161 mph under cloudy skies at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the oldest and shortest track in NASCAR’s premier series.

Rookie Shane Hmiel earned his first Busch Series pole in his seventh event, setting the Nashville Superspeedway track record with a lap of 161.440 mph in qualifying for the Pepsi 300.



The United States will play defending champion France on the clay court of Paris’ Roland Garros Stadium, home of the French Open, in the Davis Cup semifinals Sept. 20-22.

Defending champion Guillermo Canas of Argentina defeated Attila Savolt of Hungary, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in a quarterfinal of the Grand Prix Hassan II at Casablanca, Morocco.

In other quarterfinals, France’s Julien Boutter beat compatriot Jean-Rene Lisnard, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1); Morocco’s Younes El Aynaoui beat France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny beat France’s Anthony Dupuis, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Second-seeded Marat Safin was upset by Jarkko Nieminen, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, and third-seeded Carlos Moya beat Max Mirnyi, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-3, in the quarterfinals of the Estoril Open at Oeiras, Portugal.

Second-seeded Justin Henin defeated Tathiana Garbin, 6-3, 6-3, and third-seeded Jelena Dokic, playing on her 19th birthday, beat Emmanuelle Gagliardi, 6-3, 6-4, in the third round of the rain-plagued Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla.


The Board of Regents unanimously accepted a plan to cut men’s and women’s golf and men’s gymnastics at Minnesota to reduce budget problems in the university’s athletic program.


Slava Fetisov, who coached Russia to an Olympic bronze medal in hockey at Salt Lake City, has agreed to become the nation’s sports chief.