Drew put in charge of rebuilding Baylor

Updated: August 22, 2003, 2:53 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Valparaiso's Scott Drew has accepted the task of patching up the Baylor basketball program, and will be named the Bears head coach on Friday.

Drew will replace Dave Bliss, who resigned Aug. 8 and became the focal point of a cover-up inside the Baylor program concerning allegations of illegal tuition payments. The new coach has a 9 a.m. meeting scheduled with the Baylor players and their families.

Drew's father, Homer, will come out of retirement to replace his son at Valparaiso.

Scott Drew was an assistant under his father for nine years at Valparaiso before taking over for his father last season. In his only season as a head coach, Drew led Valparaiso to a 20-11 record and an NIT bid. Valparaiso lost to Iowa in the first round. At age 32, Drew is one of the youngest head coaches among Division I-A schools.

A strong Christian, Drew should fit in well at the nation's largest Baptist school. He also fits the profile Baylor sought for Bliss' successor. Drew's integrity has never been questioned and he's built a strong reputation as a national and international recruiter, signing top 100 players at the mid-major school.

Valparaiso player Mike Oppland told The Associated Press that Homer Drew called his family to tell them Scott Drew was going to Baylor and he was coming out of retirement to take his place.

"I was surprised (about Scott), but I guess I understand why he did it," said Oppland, who will be a sophomore this season. "When Homer retired or whatever, he said he was done with basketball. I guess, he figures he's the best man to take over the program."

Drew is expected to receive a contract of either five or six years. Financial terms are unknown but Drew is not expected to make the $600,000 salary that Bliss was earning. Bliss' salary was supplemented by the soft drink company Dr. Pepper.

"These days, Baylor was lucky to get a coach as good as Drew," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sources told ESPN.com that Baylor representatives flew to Chicago on Wednesday to meet with Drew. The school also was interested in Indiana assistant John Treloar and Texas-Pan American's Bob Hoffman. Sam Houston State's Bob Marlin, Samford's Jimmy Tillette and Central Missouri State's Kim Anderson were not interviewed after originally being on the list of candidates.

School starts at Baylor on Monday and the school had to make a hire before any more players transferred. As of Thursday, Lawrence Roberts (Mississippi State), Kenny Taylor (Texas) and Tyrone Nelson (Prairie View A&M) had decided on new schools.

Junior guard John Lucas III has also asked for his release, and the second-leading scorer has said he won't return. Senior forward R.T. Guinn, sophomore forward Tommy Swanson and junior college transfer Harvey Thomas also asked for their releases.

Drew
Drew

Terrance Thomas is looking at Northwestern State, UTEP, Texas Southern and Indiana as well as staying at Baylor.

Bliss, who formerly coached at Oklahoma, and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned on the same day that school president Robert Sloan said the school had placed itself on a two-year probation.

Baylor launched an internal inquiry in July into possible NCAA violations, after allegations surfaced of improper payments to players following Patrick Dennehy's disappearance. Dennehy was found shot to death July 25, and former Baylor player Carlton Dotson remains in a Maryland jail awaiting extradition to Texas to face charges in the death.

The inquiry found that Bliss was directly involved in paying tuition costs and other expenses for Dennehy and another player. It also found that failed drug tests by players weren't properly reported.

Since then, secretly recorded taped conversations of Bliss have shown he asked players to lie to investigators to try to portray Dennehy as a drug dealer.

As part of its self-imposed penalty, Baylor won't play in any postseason tournaments next season, including the Big 12 tournament. The school also offered every player to be released from their scholarships, allowing them to transfer to other schools.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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