Baylor names search committee for basketball coach, AD
WACO, Texas -- Baylor organized a six-member search committee Tuesday to find a new men's basketball coach and athletic director as the school moves to dig out from the crushing scandal of a murdered player, drug use and improper payments to athletes.
The announcement from Baylor president Robert Sloan said the panel would work quickly but gave no specific timetable for hiring either position. He said the school could hire the coach first.
Baylor wants a coach with a "known reputation for integrity," and "a proven recruiter, mentor and winner," Sloan said.
"While speed will be a priority, we will focus on finding the right combination of experience, athletic success, and a commitment to integrity and Baylor's unique mission that will yield the results our constituents expect and deserve," Sloan said.
Former coach Dave Bliss and Athletic Director Tom Stanton abruptly resigned last week after school officials revealed that Bliss was involved in two players' receiving improper financial aid and that staff members did not properly report failed drug tests by players.
Allegations of NCAA violations surfaced after the mid-June disappearance of basketball player Patrick Dennehy, whose body was found July 25 in a field southeast of town. He was shot in the head.
Carlton Dotson, Dennehy's former teammates and roommate, has been charged with murder. He remains jailed in his home state of Maryland, awaiting transfer to Texas.
The search committee will be led by Baylor regent and basketball letterman Jim Turner, the president and CEO of Dallas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group.
Other members include Waco regents and basketball lettermen David Sibley and Tommy Bowman; Dallas regent Joe Armes, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Southwest Sports Group and Southwest Sports Realty; Baylor Law School associate dean and faculty member Leah Jackson; and Waco banker and Baylor alumnus David Lacy.
Sloan said he and Drayton McLane Jr., chairman of the Baylor board of regents and owner of the Houston Astros, will also be involved in the search.
The school already has a list of about 15 to 20 potential coaching candidates, but Sloan wouldn't say who they are. "We're not excluding anybody at this point."
John Lucas, a former coach of NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers whose son is on the Baylor basketball team, has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Bliss.
While at least three players have committed to staying for next season, others have indicated the choice of the new head coach could be a factor in deciding whether to transfer to another school.
Sloan has said Baylor agreed to release any player who requests it, but that the National Collegiate Athletic Association will decide whether to waive a rule requiring players to sit out for a year after transferring.
Lawrence Roberts, the Bears' leading scorer last season, and Kenny Taylor, the third-leading scorer, requested and received releases from Baylor giving them the right to contact other schools, Houston television station KRIV reported Tuesday night. But both players said they may end up staying.
On Sunday, one of Baylor's top recruits, Hempstead 6-foot-9 center Tyrone Nelson, told KRIV he would ask for a release from his national letter of intent.
Richard Guinn, whose son R.T. Guinn will stay at Baylor for his senior season, said the school should hire an interim coach for next season with an option to keep him if he does well.
"That way the school doesn't leap to a quick decision that they're stuck with for years," Guinn said.
Sloan said Baylor had no interest in hiring an "interim" coach.
"We want someone to take Baylor into the future," he said. "Uncertainty is hard on all of us -- especially for our players and our fans."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index