Former Baylor coach apologized to player the morning after scheme revealed

Updated: August 17, 2003, 6:56 PM ET

AUSTIN, Texas -- Baylor University's former basketball coach apologized to one of the players he tried to enlist in a scheme to cover up alleged NCAA violations by accusing a slain player of dealing drugs, the player's father said Sunday.

Former coach Dave Bliss met with R.T. Guinn on Saturday, Richard Guinn said. The meeting at the player's home came the day after secretly recorded audiotapes revealed Bliss had tried to use players and an assistant coach in an attempt to portray Patrick Dennehy as a drug dealer.

Richard Guinn refused to disclose the nature of the conversation, but said Bliss told his son: "I'm sorry about the things that happened."

The player's father said Bliss brought a tape recorder to the meeting Saturday. Richard Guinn said he also recorded the meeting and gave his copy to Baylor investigators.

"I'm upset that he tried to use R.T. in his scheme," Richard Guinn told The Associated Press.

Guinn said Bliss planned to visit another player, Harvey Thomas, the same day. Thomas' live-in fiancee told The Dallas Morning News that Bliss knocked on their door but they did not answer. Thomas did not return a telephone message seeking comment Sunday.

The secretly recorded tapes of conversations between Bliss, assistant Abar Rouse and players show Bliss thought the drug story would steer investigators away from allegations the coach had improperly paid for Dennehy's tuition, an NCAA violation.

Bliss's cover-up attempt was revealed Friday when Rouse gave the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a copy of his tapes.

Bliss resigned Aug. 8 when the school announced he had been involved in improper tuition payments to two players.

"What we've got to do here is create drugs," Bliss said on one of the tapes.

Bliss said Dennehy couldn't deny the allegations because he was dead.

Dennehy was found shot to death on July 25. An autopsy found no alcohol, opiates, amphetamines or barbiturates in his system, but his body was too decomposed to test for marijuana.

Baylor investigators found no evidence Dennehy was involved in drug dealing.

Richard Guinn said Bliss remained composed during the meeting.

"He said he was scared of what was coming out on the tapes," Richard Guinn said. Bliss didn't say why he wanted to record the conversation.

"I told Bliss we're not going to lie, we're not going to cover up, we're not going to hold back anything," Richard Guinn said.

Bliss did not return a telephone message left at his home Sunday.

Bill Underwood, a member of the Baylor investigating committee, said he had not heard Guinn's tape and could not comment on its contents. He said the panel was conducting more interviews on Sunday.

Baylor officials have said one unidentified player tried to use the Dennehy drug dealing story with investigators but he recanted once the tape surfaced.

A former teammate, Carlton Dotson, has been charged with Dennehy's murder.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index