Dan Dakich out as Indy sports radio host at 107.5 The Fan

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dan Dakich, the often controversial midday sports radio host on 107.5 The Fan is no longer with the station.

An email sent to employees Thursday by operations manager David Wood read: "Today was Dan Dakich's last day with Radio One. We wish him well in their future endeavors."

IndyStar reached out to Urban One, the company which owns Radio One and The Fan, but did not immediately get a response.

Dakich, a former Indiana University basketball player, assistant coach and one season interim head coach, has hosted The Dan Dakich show for 14 years. He also has a show called "Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich" on Outkick, which describes itself as a "fearless sports media company founded by Clay Travis."

A screenshot of Dan Dakich on his WFNI The Fan show podcast Tuesday.
A screenshot of Dan Dakich on his WFNI The Fan show podcast Tuesday.

Dakich tweeted a statement Thursday afternoon. It reads: "Earlier today, I did my last show for Radio One. I want to thank Radio One, Jeff Smulyan and the whole team at Emmis Communications for a great 14 years.

"Given the success of my show, 'Don't @ Me' on Outkick and the busy holiday season, this is the perfect time to focus on one show and to make it the best I can possibly make it.

"I can't thank all the listeners enough for 14 years of unbelievable fun and controversy. I'm not going anywhere. Catch me very day from 9-11 on Outkick on 'Don't @ Me.'"

In June, in one of the biggest local radio shakeups in recent history, Emmis, which founded The Fan, sold its Indianapolis stations to Urban One.

Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins told IndyStar in June he didn't want to comment on specific radio hosts. "I know the stations here in Indy have a few controversial personalities," Liggins said. "I don't have real depth of knowledge about those personalities."

Dakich's show on WFNI, 107.5 FM and 93.5 FM, aired from noon-3 p.m. weekdays.

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Dakich controversies through the years

In 2019, Dakich was suspended by Emmis for “a failure (in 2018) on Dan's part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis." Emmis did not elaborate on what led to Dakich’s five-day suspension, nor did Dakich respond to a request for comment from IndyStar at the time.

In March 2020, Dakich went on a five-minute tirade in which he lambasted the firing of the head coach of Scottsburg High, while simultaneously insulting the town and school.

He called a player a "meth head," said the town was full of "meth and AIDS and needles,” urged listeners to "take a dump" in Scottsburg and threatened, "I may just drive down there and beat the hell out of every school board member."

Emmis told IndyStar at the time it was “aware of the statements made by Dan Dakich earlier this week and we continue to investigate the issue." Dakich was not publicly punished for the tirade.

In early 2021, Dakich stirred up more controversy that caught the attention of ESPN.

The network said in February 2021 it was launching an investigation into Dakich after a Twitter dispute over college athlete compensation in which Dakich debated several college professors.

One of those professors, Dr. Johanna Mellis, accused him of misogynistic actions after she challenged him to a swimming competition.

When Dakich asked whether teachers knew anything about sports, Mellis responded: "Dan you want to play in the 'arena?'" Mellis tweeted to Dakich. "Let’s level the playing field a bit: I used to swim upwards of 10,000 yards in practice sometimes. I’ve done 10x100s butterfly, 10x400IMs, and one time 10x1000 freestyles for time. It’s brutal, but yeah let’s go at it in the pool."

Mellis said in an email to IndyStar at the time that she was asking that they race in the pool, but Dakich took it another direction. He responded with a tweet that has since been deleted, saying he would have to get divorced from his wife first.

"Through his use of the b-word and the way he sexualized my clear reference to racing in the pool, he debased and violated me according to my identity over the public airwaves for all to hear," Mellis wrote.

Dakich used the word "bitching" when referring to Mellis and some male professors the next day, Feb. 24. He did not name the professors and noted on his show March 2 he never violated their privacy. In September of 2021, Dakich announced he was no longer with ESPN.

"I’m not going to do games at ESPN and that was as much my choice as their choice," he said. "I got to do a ton of stuff because of the money and that’s fine, but there’s a whole world out there that I want to have influence in.”

This story will be updated.

Follow IndyStar sports reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow. Reach her via email: dbenbow@indystar.com.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Dan Dakich out as Indianapolis sports radio host at 107.5 The Fan