The University of San Francisco's decision Thursday to abolish its prestigious men's basketball program was met yesterday with reactions ranging from outrage to full support of the action.
Quintin Dailey, whose reported acceptance of illegal financial payments was at least partly responsible for USF's drastic decision, refused to discuss his involvement in detail, but he was quoted by United Press International as saying that the move "hurt a little."
Dailey, who is on probation after pleading guilty last month to assaulting a student nurse in December, said he was advised by his attorneys not to comment on USF's abolishing basketball.
But the former all-America guard was pressured by reporters yesterday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, after practicing with the rookie team of the Chicago Bulls, who made him a No. 1 draft choice last month. He said that what happened to him at USF "could have happened to anyone. Basically, (this) is a new beginning. I'm going to concentrate on the future."
In Chicago, De Paul guard Raymond McCoy, who transferred from USF after his freshman year, said he received money illegally while playing there in 1979-80.
"Once I got there, you learned from the older players that if you needed money or you had something you wanted to buy, all you had to do was go in and ask (former coach Dan) Belluomini," McCoy told the Chicago Tribune.
McCoy said he asked for, and received, "about $1,000" so he could buy a television set and stereo equipment before he came on campus in 1979. "I got tickets to things, you know, concerts, things like that."
In San Francisco, Belluomini, who now works for an auto dealership, called McCoy's claims "blatant lies." He said he never gave McCoy any money. "That is not true," Belluomini said. "How could he say something like that?"
McCoy also said he was paid $375 to $400 a week for a summer job, whether or not he put in a full week. Dailey reportedly accepted $1,000 from a USF alumnus for a job he never worked, which is against NCAA rules.
The basketball team, which won NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956 with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, was put on probation in 1976 and again in 1979 for various violations, and placed on "unsanctioned probation" last year. The NCAA was investigating the program when the school announced its decision to drop the sport.
USF President Rev. John LoSchiavo said the board of trustees voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to abolish the program because misconduct by alumni and people within the program threatened "the integrity and credibility of the university."
John Dugan, a former president of the Dons Century Club and a longtime booster, was quoted as saying that LoSchiavo was "running scared. Let the NCAA prove it. Do you see (Southern California) quitting? Do you see anybody else quitting?"
Ollie Johnson, an all-America basketball player at San Francisco in 1964 and '65 after he graduated from Spingarn High School in the District, said he "woke up this morning and still couldn't believe what had happened.
"This is like Notre Dame saying okay, we're not having football anymore. I think it's drastic in some ways. If someone has cancer you cut out the cancer cell, you don't kill the whole body. From what I hear, it's only two or three players if that many.
"I didn't see or hear of anything like this when I was at San Francisco. But I realize that was a different era. But the year before I got there, USF had dismissed some players for not going to class. So we were really careful.
"I'd like to see a restriction put on who can contact student-athletes," Johnson said. "I (as an alumnus) shouldn't be able to call up a player without going through the basketball office and them having a written record of it. In this high-powered world of collegiate athletics, that check and balance isn't too much to ask."
Dennis Lucey, president of the Washington chapter of USF's alumni association, said he thinks it was "a handful of alums who got out of hand; some of them wanted to win at any cost."
"I didn't think they'd go to the point of abolishing the program," Lucey said. "It seemed a drastic step at first. But then, this winning-at-any-cost attitude had to be stopped. At times, I did feel that (USF's) integrity was at question, but sometimes I didn't. The question of possible abuses never came up in my discussions with other alums. Many of us are relieved that it's all over now."
Lucey, who described himself as "very, very close to the basketball program," said he thinks it is unfair that Dailey apparently is being given so much of the blame for the program's death.
"Let's not blame Quintin," Lucey said. "The issue is bigger than him. He's involved in the problem, but he isn't the problem.
"Even though I'm saddened by losing the program, I totally agree with Father LoSchiavo's philosophy of not letting athletics just take over an institution. And a lot of us support it."