FEB 18, 2005



 ‘Story of Loyalty and Trust Betrayed’ – Comcast SportsNet Exposes Cabrini College for its Decision Not to Renew Dzik’s Contract.

Comcast SportsNet aired a seven-minute feature on both its 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. SportsNITE shows on the February 18, 2005 telecast, educating the public over the current crisis at Cabrini College, which has resulted in the contract of Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Dzik not being renewed after 25 seasons.


Intro to Program:

[Comcast SportsNet SportsNite anchor Lance Crawford]: “Coming up on SportsNITE….. and after devoting his life to a local college basketball program for a quarter century, John Dzik got the surprise of his life.”

[Cabrini Head Coach John Dzik]: “I am at a loss for an answer to your question as to why the school does not want me to stay at this time.”

Commerical Teaser:

[Comcast SportsNet SportsNite anchor Lance Crawford]: “Coming up, there is a dark cloud hanging over the men’s basketball program at Cabrini College. It is a story of loyalty and trust betrayed.

[Cabrini Head Coach John Dzik]: “It was not my choice to leave here, so it is certainly not me not wanting to sit down and resolve this issue. So that should leave it pretty open as to where the problem lies.”

Out of Commerical Break:

[Comcast SportsNet SportsNITE anchor Lance Crawford]: “Tomorrow Cabrini College hosts Neumann College in the first round of the Men’s Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Tournament. Now the Cavaliers have become a Division III powerhouse, thanks in large part to Head Coach John Dzik.”

[Comcast SportsNet SportsNITE anchor Derrick Gunn]: “Dzik has dedicated nearly have his life to serving Cabrini, he’s won five Coach of the Year awards and he’s done it the right way. He runs a clean program, fills the gym with fans and stresses academics over basketball, and he still wins. This year he is celebrating his 25th anniversary at the school, but he is certainly in no mood to celebrate …” “Cabrini College, a small Catholic college nestled into 112-wooded acres on the Main Line. The school is normally quiet, until now.”

[Cabrini Head Coach John Dzik]: “I’m sure that Mother Cabrini who is our foundress would not condone some of the behavior that she sees here today.”

[Gunn]: “John Dzik is, and has been the only men’s basketball coach Cabrini has ever seen, In 1980 he was asked to help turn around an all-girls college into a coed institution. Twenty-five years later he’s posted 24 winning seasons, won 15 conference titles and graduated 90 percent of his student-athletes.”

[Dzik]: “I love Cabrini College, I really do. If you cut me open its blue and white blood that comes out. This has been my life’s work and I will continue to love Cabrini College.”

[Gunn]: “But Coach Dzik will not return next season, and even after his final regular season home game, he has no idea why.”

[Dzik at the postgame ceremony on Feb. 16]: “It’s unfortunate that it is ending this way, it’s not my choice. If you want to find out who’s responsible for it, you’ll have to find out on your own. Thank you.”

[Dzik]: “I didn’t resign my position as basketball coach, I’m at a loss for an answer to your question as to why the school doesn’t want me to stay at this time. It’s very unfortunate for a lot of parties. As I said, it’s a lose-lose-lose situation. Everyone’s losing.”

[Gunn]: “The Coach’s dismissal is complicated, in June of 2003 he stepped down as the school’s athletic director after 17 years on the job. His longtime associate Leslie Danehy took over the job, with his blessing and he became special assistant to the President for athletic advancement. But 17 months later he wanted out.”

[Dzik]: “I resigned as special assistant to the president for athletic advancement because I was asked to use personal time to coach the basketball team. I received a memo that said if you are going to be out of the IA office to coach the basketball team, you will need to take personal time. That is not the agreement that I had with the President when I moved out of my position and into this.”

[Gunn]: “Dzik says he never would have accepted the job if he knew anytime that he was on the road coaching or on the recruiting trail he’d have to spend his own vacation time to do it, so he quit. And decided to be just a coach, but the school’s President Dr. Antoinette Iadarola said thanks, but no thanks and told him his future services would no longer be needed.

[Dzik]: “At first I was told that I wasn’t coming back because I was too angry at the college to coach, and I said I’m not angry at the college I love Cabrini College. I really am not. And I thought it interesting that I was too angry to coach next year, but I was certainly not that angry that I couldn’t finish out this year. I’ve been given so many different reasons that don’t make sense. The latest has that been I don’t have a holistic philosophy as it relates to student-athletes, and nothing could be further from the truth.”

[Gunn]: “Actually just about all of Dzik’s players, past and present, love him.”

[Michael Bennett, Class of 1982, at the postgame ceremony on Feb. 16]: “I would just like to say that I feel very blessed John to … have … (becomes overcome with emotion and his hugged by Dzik).”

[Gunn]: “Since the school wouldn’t do it, the alumni held their own send-off for the coach following the regular season finale. Rich Schepis, class of 1997, organized the event. He’s also started a website, and has been petitioning the school to keep John Dzik.”

[Rich Schepis]: “I’m disappointed at the College. They preach these CORE values, about respect, and about living this Cabrini way of life, and then they go and do something that obviously shows no respect for John Dzik or his coaching staff, or what they’ve done here. I’m disappointed and I’m angry actually to be honest with you, because there’s no good valid reason for his dismissal.”

[Gunn]: “Ultimately, Coach Dzik believes a personality conflict with the school’s President led to his firing, despite their limited interaction.”

[Dzik]: “In the 17 months that I was in that position, I didn’t speak to her about an athletic issue one time. And the only time we really sat down and talked about anything, was for her to tell me that I had nothing to do with Cabrini College athletics. I looked at her and I said, ‘excuse me, after 23 years as your Director of Athletics, you think I have nothing to do with Cabrini College athletics.’ I should have really seen the handwriting on the wall at that point in time.”

[Gunn]: “But he didn’t, and it proved costly. He won’t reach 500 wins at the school, his six assistant coaches – all fired. But what upsets him the most …”

[Dzik]: “My wife Suzie. Certainly when I speak about my wife – I’m going to start crying now if I have to think about it – just you know because, we’ve been married 32 years. So when I think about what she’s sacrificed to allow me to do something that I love to do, that makes me emotional. And this is a far-reaching decision that has adversely affected an awful lot of people, and I wonder when the decision was made if the people making it really thought about that before they decided to pull the plug.”

[Gunn]: “Most people feel that 55-year old head coach John Dzik deserves better, but he feels he deserves only one thing …”

[Dzik]: “I think I deserve to continue as Cabrini College’s basketball coach, is what I think.”

[Gunn]: “Despite our repeated attempts, Cabrini’s school officials refused comment on Dzik’s dismissal, however they did fax us the official statement which announced the Coach would be leaving. The last line quotes the school President Dr. Iadarola, who says ‘we thank John for all he has done for the College and wish him continued success in the future’ end quote – Just 19 words for his quarter century of service to Cabrini College.”