Bliss applies to be volunteer at state jail

Updated: August 30, 2003, 10:50 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Ousted Baylor coach Dave Bliss wants to go to jail, but he'll have to wait.

Bliss applied for a volunteer job this week at a state jail for juveniles in McLennan County, Texas, the Dallas Morning News reported on Friday.

A facility superintendant told the newspaper that Bliss appeared "upbeat and positive" while inquiring about being a volunteer coach for intramural sports.

"He told me he had worked for himself his whole life, and now he wanted to give something back," John Hopkins, the superintendent of the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility, told the Dallas Morning News.

Bliss spent a couple of hours at the facility Wednesday, about 20 miles west of the Baylor campus in Waco. He toured the buildings, met with some of the 350 youths and filled out an application, Hopkins told the newspaper.

However, Bliss will not be volunteering at the facility anytime soon. Hopkins called Bliss on Friday and told him it would "probably be in the best interests of both the youth commission and us if we put off him coming out here and volunteering for a while," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"His actions and the things he is accused of would call into question whether he would be a good volunteer for us right now," Pamela Ward, public information officer for the Texas Youth Commission in Austin, told the Inquirer. "We need to wait and see how things are going to shake out. From our perspective, it would just be a distraction for him to be on the campus and be helping with the kids."

Bliss resigned Aug. 8 over major violations in his program uncovered following the disappearance and death of a player and charges he was killed by a former teammate.

After he resigned, it was revealed that Bliss told players to say slain teammate Patrick Dennehy sold drugs to pay his tuition, according to secretly recorded conversations.

"I think the thing we want to do -- and you think about this -- if there's a way we can create the perception that Pat may have been a dealer. Even if we had to kind of make some things look a little better than they are, that can save us," Bliss told one player in a conversation taped by assistant coach Abar Rouse, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram initially reported.

The Morning News reported that Hopkins and Bliss jointly decided to hold up his application for a while. If selected as a volunteer, Bliss would be subject to a background check.

Bliss could eventually be in danger of facing some jail time himself. Baylor is still investigating its basketball program, and will provide the authorities information about Bliss' actions to determine whether laws were broken.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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