West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty, Jr. learned late last night that Dan Dakich has elected not to accept the position of head mens basketball coach.

According to Hardesty, Dakich cited a possible NCAA rule violation and his dissatisfaction with the overall basketball program as his primary reasons for withdrawing.

“During the transition process, a possible violation of a NCAA rule that may have occurred during the past season was brought to the attention of Dakich and myself,”said Director of Athletics Ed Pastilong. WVU immediately began an internal investigation, conducted by the Universitys director of internal auditing, the faculty representative for athletics, the director of athletic compliance and independent counsel who specializes in NCAA rules compliance. The Big East Conference and the NCAA have been notified of the situation.

The alleged potential infraction involves the amateur status of one member of the 2001-02 team and related issues.

“We are deeply shocked and disappointed in Coach Dakichs decision,”said Hardesty.”As athletic director Ed Pastilong told Coach Dakich, WVU has a long history of NCAA compliance and the University would move swiftly, and has moved swiftly, to investigate any claims.

“WVU has an outstanding history of a proven basketball program. Certainly every sports team on any college campus has it peaks and valleys, its winning and losing seasons. WVU is no different. We have faith in our basketball program and it is unfortunate that Coach Dakich did not. From day one we have always tried to hire a coach to who could build on our history.

“WVU remains committed to finding a coach who believes in our players, our program, and, most of all, our University.”

Pastilong confirmed that Dakich sought to restructure the terms of his employment contract after his personal evaluation of the team.

According to Pastilong the search process already has resumed.