In the last 48 hours, there has been significant backlash from the Scott County community in response to sportscaster and radio host Dan Dakich’s segment featuring Scottsburg following the termination of boys basketball head coach Brent Jameson on March 18. Dakich became involved in the termination proceeding through social media posts from various Scott County School District 2 parents, community members and other coaches. He originally made various comments on his social media platforms before taking to his widely viewed radio show.
The Booster staff feels that Dakich had an opportunity to utilize the situation and his position to start a healthy and respectful conversation regarding the termination proceedings of sports coaches; however, rather than engaging in such healthy dialogue, Dakich chose to insult and make accusations regarding our community and its members. In our opinion, the focus of the show had less to do with coaching and more to do with who we are as a community. Dakich’s show is a representation of the disrespectful and uneducated presentation of ideas and opinions that is abundantly apparent in our society today.
Dakich utilized derogatory names, hyperbolized accents, insults and inappropriate language to attack and mock our community. Dakich was ill-informed on the situation, collecting his “facts” from social media opinions. In addition, Dakich knew nothing of our community, as shown by his need to look Scottsburg up mid-show, therefore his comments were uneducated and based on his personal opinions of a community that he knew nothing of nor took the time to learn about.
He questioned if Scottsburg was “that freaking stupid” and “complete idiots” before threatening violence on our school board members, making accusations and shaming our community by using terms such as “hillbilly.” Furthermore, he used “Southern” accents to further imply that we were the “hillbillies” he labeled us as. Our staff inferred that he felt as if our small-town nature and geographical locations were indicators of our character and behavior. As a staff, we feel that it is important to speak against the labels he placed on us and express our views on our community and school district.
The Booster staff would like to rebut against his more targeted comments and express our personal pride in our community. As seen with the community backlash, members of the community and our school are pained and insulted by his offense, hate-filled coverage of our community. It is our goal to illuminate the good in our community as we refuse to be labeled in such deeming and derogatory means.
Dakich commented, “What the hell is a Scottsburg?” In our opinion, “a Scottsburg” is a community of kind-hearted, caring, involved and intelligent individuals that work together for the betterment of the community. We are a community that rises to the occasion and continues to seek improvement and betterment. Our schools are continuously building and graduating successful individuals that work to make a positive and beneficial difference in our community, state, and world. Our sports teams foster lifelong relationships, teamwork, individual growth and attitudes of sportsmanship for our athletes despite the wins and losses. (Which is not to say that we do not produce winning teams!) Our community organizations and local business create opportunities in our small town and work to support growth and improvement. This is a community that does not succumb to its negative criticism and reputation. This is a community that comes together in times of need and works to help out its own.
As everyone in this community knows, our reputation has been tied to the HIV epidemic and opioid crisis since making national headlines as the HIV epicenter of the world in 2015. Knowingly or not, Dakich’s implication that one of our athletes was a “meth head” was a low blow in many listener’s opinions. We at The Booster, want that comment to be a reminder of our resilience, growth and ability to overcome. Our community was not defined by the HIV crisis and it will not be defined by outsider opinions. We will continue to be proud of our community and the strides it has made. We will continue to take pride in our schools, sports teams and students.
Dakich questioned whether “any good [has] come out of Scottsburg.” The Booster’s answer is yes. YES. As mentioned before, we take great pride in our community and its members. We have teams and athletes that held state titles and records. We have graduates that have received academic and athletic scholarships. We have successful alumni; alumni who serve as a state senator and as a deputy attorney general for Indiana, who work for companies like Fox, Google and Amazon and alumni who have been accepted to Harvard University to name a few. We take pride in the accomplishments of our alumni and our community as a whole. Not only are we prideful of achievements, but we are also proud of the character, values and behavior of our students and citizens. We at The Booster wholeheartedly believe that Scott County citizens will continue to make us proud far into the future.
Regardless of opinions on the contract termination, we hope that our community members will speak out against the disrespect, misinformation and hate that was presented on Dakich’s show. As a staff, we believe that we should be able to expect more out of our media platforms and public figures and as a community and as individuals, we need to do our part in correcting the misinformation and holding such figures to higher standards. Finally, and most importantly to us, we hope that you will join us in taking great pride in our community and its members. Dakich suggested everyone “take a dump on Scottsburg.” Here at The Booster, we believe we should simply just take a moment to be proud of our community and our people. Our community, and specifically our school, has put significant time and effort into improving school/community spirit and support; it is our hope that such attitudes of pride and support will continue far into the future. Advocate for our community, share your pride, let your voice be heard and do not be silent in the light of misinformation and hate.