Men's Basketball

ESPN’s Dakich says Louisville will have to forfeit 2013 title. School calls report ‘pure speculation.’

ESPN analyst Dan Dakich awaits the start of the Maryland and Indiana NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 in College Park, Md. Dakich claimed to have inside knowledge of the status of Louisville’s NCAA appeal on his radio program Wednesday.
ESPN analyst Dan Dakich awaits the start of the Maryland and Indiana NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 in College Park, Md. Dakich claimed to have inside knowledge of the status of Louisville’s NCAA appeal on his radio program Wednesday. AP

ESPN basketball analyst and Indianapolis radio personality Dan Dakich said Wednesday that the University of Louisville’s sanctions appeal will be denied and the school will have to forfeit its 2013 NCAA championship and pay $15 million in penalties, citing a “close friend” who had a source “in the room” at the NCAA.

A Louisville spokesman immediately refuted the story as “pure speculation.” The NCAA has not released a ruling on the appeals case.

Dakich, who broke the story on his Indianapolis radio show on WFNI-AM 1070 The Fan, teased the news for more than two hours on his program, lambasting Louisville media personalities who were commenting on Twitter as they were listening in before and after the announcement on air.

“I’m telling you what I know and I’m telling you what I believe,” Dakich said after his announcement. “If I’m wrong, I’m wrong and I’ll say I’m wrong. ... I read you a text from a person I trust.”

On Oct. 31, Louisville appealed the penalties handed down earlier in the year by the NCAA as a result of its investigation into a scandal that included allegations that an assistant coach paid escorts for sex parties with recruits from 2010-2014. Louisville characterized those penalties — vacating 123 wins, including the 2013 championship and the 2012 Final Four appearance — as “grossly excessive.”

“This is pure speculation,” Louisville spokesman John Karman said in a statement in response to the Dakich report. “The NCAA will contact the university in advance of any announcement, regarding the appeal. We have not been contacted by the NCAA.”

From reports when the appeal was filed, Louisville did not expect to learn the result of the appeal until sometime early this year. Since the sex scandal, Louisville fired head coach Rick Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich in the wake of another scandal that stemmed from an FBI investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball. While a federal indictment appeared to implicate some at the university, no one connected to Louisville has been charged in that investigation.

Dakich, a former head coach at Bowling Green State and a player and interim head coach at Indiana, has been a longtime in-game analyst for ESPN and hosts his own “Dan Dakich Show” radio program.

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