610 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, Pa. 19807
January 13, 2005
Dear Ms. Moll,
This letter is a follow up to the phone conversation we had yesterday (Jan. 12,
2005) re: Cabrini College's decision not to renew John Dzik's contract as Head
Men's Basketball Coach at Cabrini College following the conclusion of the
2004-2005 season. Once again I would like to state how ashamed and embarrassed
I am to be member of the Cabrini College alumni community in light of this
decision and in the manner it was carried out. I am still in shock and
searching for answers, as are many of my former classmates and current alumni,
regarding how and why this decision was reached.
I respect and understand the College's policy regarding not commenting on its
personnel decisions and also recognize that Cabrini is a business and decisions
are made with that in mind. Too many times loyalty does cloud one's opinion
when having to make a difficult decision as when is the right time to move on.
I am sure you would agree that Penn State is wrestling with this very type of
decision when it comes to the status of its Head Football Coach Joe Paterno, a
fair comparison to Dzik considering the respective impacts each has on their
I probably would be more apt to understand this decision if John Dzik's skills
had eroded as a coach and as a mentor to his students. If his presence was
holding back his players, team, the program, the department or college. Maybe
if John made some poor decisions in how he conducted himself with his players
or while representing the college. Of course, no evidence of any of these
examples exist, as John's integrity, honor and character have never been called
into question in his 25 years as Head Men's Basketball Coach as well as his
20-plus years as Athletic Director at Cabrini.
Ruling out the above as well as poor job performance combined with the lack of
information coming from the administration, I as well as my fellow alumni, are
forced to surmise on our own why this decision was reached. If it was not
reached for any of the above reasons, or related-type reasons, then logic
clearly shows another path.
Unfortunately I am not privy to the decision-making process any longer at the
College. I also do not want to speculate, however if John Dzik is not being
retained for any of the above reasons then I have a few questions that lead me
in one direction, a direction I do not care for.
John Dzik has given the last 25 years of his life to Cabrini. Twenty-five
successful years, and please note, I am not measuring success in the athletic
arena because I feel that is not necessary - the numbers speak for themselves
when it comes to his team's, the department's and college's successes on the
playing fields, which by the way continues today. No, I am referring to Dzik's
successful run as a mentor and role model to Cabrini's student body for the
past 25 years. I am sure today many of us would agree that we would not be the
people we are today if it were not for the influence and impact of John in our
John was the one who encouraged, nurtured, taught and allowed me to grow in
collegiate athletics. If not for his leadership, I may actually be just
"working a job" instead of doing something I love - something which by the way
he taught me. I remember that day eight-plus years ago like it was yesterday
when sitting in John's old office in Sacred Heart Gymnasium, now Founder's Hall
I believe, when John explained to me how we was the luckiest man in the world
as he awoke each day and went to do something he loved. That love and pride
expressed itself in everything John did for Cabrini athletics and its students.
John even demonstrated recently his character and teamwork when he graciously
stepped aside last year, relinquishing his title as Athletic Director so the
College could ensure keeping another one of its talented people who could move
no further in the department. His unselfishness and eagerness to do what was
best for the College is another shining example to his players and students,
current and past, of the type of man he is. So of course, the College would not
want to keep this type of individual around anymore, because why would they
want their students emulating these traits.
I would hope you would agree that these are all good questions. I would also
hope that you agree that to the outside observer, it seems as if John is not
being retained for any valid reason. I did forget to mention his age, but I
know that this is not reason. There is no out with the old and in with the new,
because first, many of the greatest Presidents of this fine nation were much
older than John is today. I am also sure that President Iadarola is older than
John is and last time I checked, she was still running the show over at
Since his skills and relationships with his former and current students have not
eroded, why then is this man not being retained? Why after stepping aside for
the good of the school a year ago as Athletic Director? Why when he has
expressed a desire to retire in this position? Why when it is clear he is still
at the top of his game as a coach, mentor, role model, leader, recruiter and
ambassador of Cabrini College? And most heinously why is he being denied an
opportunity that only a handful of individuals have achieved in reaching the
500-win plateau as a coach?
It hurts me to think this, but the last one is a cold-hard slap of reality. This
last question makes me and my fellow classmates wonder if this is not just a
calculated business decision but something much more petty and personal.
Of course, the suspect list is not very long. There is the Vice President of
Student Development Christine Lysionek, who actually informed John he would not
be retained and gave him a glimmer of the reason when she told him "he was too
angry to continue at Cabrini." This of course offers up an entire new line of
questions as to why is he still employed now if he has been labeled as too
angry to remain - doesn't make much sense does it? There is of course you, who
I am guessing was the brains behind the memo that informed John he would be
required to take personal and vacation time when his duties as men's basketball
coach for Cabrini interfered with his office hours in Institutional Advancement
at Cabrini. If it was not you I apologize, but that was a work of brilliance if
I ever saw one. Sort of puts the writing on the wall that you are not wanted,
wouldn't you agree?
And finally, there is the President herself, who should not emerge unscathed
from all of this. I am eight years removed as a student, and seven as an
employee, and have watched all too often as many good people who gave
everything to Cabrini College - Jim Hirsch and Paul Weaver just to name two -
were unceremoniously shown the door for no good reason during her current
tenure. In fact, one could describe her presidency with one word - turnover -
constant and quick.
As promised yesterday on the telephone, I have already been in contact with
several of my former classmates and other current alumni who will shortly be
contacting you as well requesting their names be removed from all mailings and
solicitation from Cabrini as well as pulling any and all financial support.
This is a reminder to you to immediately remove my name and personal
information from the College mailing list. Remove me from all solicitation
requests. Remove me from your career network. I can no longer in good
conscience continue to assist the growth of the college and its students when
the administration turns its back on an individual like Dzik, who has done
nothing but work to make Cabrini the institution it is today. As far as Cabrini
should be concerned I am dead and am no good to it.
You asked me yesterday if would still except newsletters and magazines and that
is answer is still no. However, you did say you hoped I would change my mind
when time was given a chance to heal these wounds and I have thought about it.
I would be willing to change my mind when the President issues a public apology
to Dzik for the embarrassment and heartache this situation has caused him and
offers him a new contract that is open-ended, terminated when Dzik wants to
retire and not before. This is the way to win back my support, all body, heart,
soul . and of course, the only thing that truly matters when it comes to your
institution - money.
I appreciate your task is a difficult one currently, and John shared with me
your comments to him that this is what "we do in IA" when taking these phone
calls, letters and e-mail from alumni. To the outsider observer, one might even
question your professionalism and how you will ultimately handle this outcry,
an outrage that has been described by one administrator as one that "will
decrease with time."
I warn you not to underestimate this effort. As I said yesterday, we are
mobilizing our efforts. We will not allow the College to treat John Dzik this
way after all he has done for the school. We will be contacting other alumni,
including donors, and urging that they pull all financial support for the
College until John Dzik's contract is renewed. It would be a shame to see that
unfinished building remain unfinished for the foreseeable future.
Thank you for your time today. Please do not bother to respond, unless it is to
tell me that the College recognizes it made a mistake (we're all human) and
will be reversing its decision immediately.
Class of 1997
Director of Football Operations
University of Pennsylvania
cc: Toni Iadarola Christine Lysionek Board of Trustees Alumni Board Loquitur
Mike Jensen, Philadelphia Inquirer Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart