Dakich retracts call to fire officiating director

Updated: December 12, 2003, 9:59 PM ET
Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green basketball coach Dan Dakich apologized Friday for negative comments he made about the officiating in his team's loss Wednesday night.

Dakich called for the firing of Eric Harmon, the MAC's director of officials, after the Falcons lost 81-75 at Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.

"Eric Harmon ... should be ashamed," Dakich said after the game. "Actually, he should be fired for putting people on the floor who performed the way they did today."

Dakich's comments prompted the Mid-American Conference to post a statement on its Web site Friday admonishing the coach.

Harmon did not assign the officials for the game, which Dakich acknowledged Friday in his apology.

"I don't think I represented myself or my institution very well. Commenting on officials is not something a coach should ever do," Dakich said. "I've already personally apologized to Eric Harmon.

"Eric, who has been a friend of mine and whom I still consider to be a close friend, had nothing to do with that situation."

MAC commissioner Rick Chryst said he accepted Dakich's apology, but cautioned the coach against making similar statements in the future.

"I am extremely disappointed in the irresponsibility of Dan's remarks. ... In my view, his statements dishonor himself, his institution and his profession," Chryst said.

"Additionally, this public reprimand should serve even further notice that actions of this type are simply unacceptable," Chryst said.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press