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Author Topic: WVU/Jonathan Hargett in the News  (Read 1823 times)

Tugg Speedman

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WVU/Jonathan Hargett in the News
« on: August 27, 2012, 04:53:34 PM »
Landing in West Virginia, Dakich Checked the Exits

Soon after Dan Dakich took the basketball head coaching job at West Virginia in 2002, he sat down with a yellow legal pad and wrote a list of the issues facing the Mountaineers. It became so long and daunting that he decided it was too much. Eight days after he was hired, he walked away from what he said was a seven-year contract offer worth $3.5 million to return to his old job at Bowling Green, which pays $125,000 a year.

Some of the most challenging items on Dakich’s list involved Jonathan Hargett, a top recruit from Richmond who had just completed his freshman season at West Virginia.

Dakich said Hargett told him that he had been promised $20,000 a year for three years, and that he had not been paid the full amount. Dakich also said that Hargett said he was tired of people “owning” him.

“I’ll never forget the sad look on his face for the rest of my life,” Dakich said of the moment Hargett said those words. Hargett, now serving a prison sentence for drug possession with intent to sell, did not recall telling Dakich that, but said the statement was an accurate reflection of his feelings then.

After speaking with Hargett, Dakich approached David Hardesty, then the university’s president. Dakich said he told Hardesty about Western Union receipts that seemed to show Hargett had received money in violation of N.C.A.A. rules. He also relayed Hargett’s comments that the university had not paid him money that had been promised to him.

Dakich recalls Hardesty telling him, “If you go any farther with this, we’ll destroy you.”

Dakich’s wife, Jackie, who was present for the meeting, stood up and said, “What do you mean by, ‘destroy us?’ ” In a separate phone interview, Jackie Dakich echoed her husband’s account.

Hardesty called Dan and Jackie Dakich’s story a “gross exaggeration.” He said he remembered the meeting as one where he was trying to keep Dakich at West Virginia.

“I cannot remember the words that were said,” he said. “I did not intend to threaten him. At no time in this process did I do that. That would be so strange.”

Hardesty, who is now a law professor at West Virginia, added, “I did not condone and do not condone and would never condone a corrupt program.”

Gale Catlett, West Virginia’s coach before Dakich, and Chris Cheeks, the assistant who recruited Hargett, denied they gave him money or had knowledge of anyone else from the university giving him money. Mike Parsons, West Virginia’s deputy athletic director, said that the university followed “standard practices” protocol after Dakich made his concerns known.

Parsons said the investigation by West Virginia and the N.C.A.A. “clearly shows there were no staff members involved.” He also said Hardesty acted properly when he was approached by Dakich.


What Happened to Him?’
Basketball Star Jonathan Hargett’s Promising Career Derailed

From the playgrounds of Richmond, Va., to the highest levels of international basketball, the exploits of Jonathan Hargett still resonate.

<story goes on for many pages, click on the link to read it>