Baylor assistant who taped Bliss is out

10/13/2003 - Baylor Bears

WACO, Texas -- The Baylor assistant basketball coach whose
secretly recorded audiotapes revealed a coverup plot by former
coach Dave Bliss has lost his job less than a week after the hiring of
new coach Scott Drew, his lawyer said Thursday.

Abar Rouse's recordings, made July 30 and 31, revealed that
Bliss had tried to use players and an assistant coach in an attempt
to portray slain player Patrick Dennehy as a drug dealer.

The tapes of conversations between Bliss, 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.

When hired last week, Drew had announced he would not retain any
of the assistants hired under Bliss.

Rouse's lawyer, Michael D. Pegues of Dallas, said his client was
disappointed when he was asked this week to clean out his office
and surrender his athletic department car.

"There were some bad things going on. He reported them, and he
expected to be there," Pegues said.

He said in stories in The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth
Star-Telegram that the university should want someone of Rouse's
caliber sitting in someone's living room, talking about the
school's integrity and academic success.

University spokesman Larry Brumley declined to discuss the
matter, citing privacy issues.

"It's nothing personal against Mr. Rouse at all. He was part of
a staff that has been transitioned out," interim athletic director
David Brooks told the Star-Telegram.

Baylor officials have told Rouse he may be considered for other
openings in the athletic department and can apply for other
positions within the university, Pegues said.

"We don't know what's available. He wants to coach," the
lawyer told the Morning News. "I don't think he's going to have an
opportunity to do that at Baylor."