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Rouse contends attorney-client privelege was breached

8/10/2005 - Baylor Bears

WACO, Texas -- A former Baylor University assistant
basketball coach is suing an attorney, claiming she did not have
his permission to release his secret tape recordings of Dave Bliss
that revealed the former head coach's scheme to cover up NCAA
violations.
Abar Rouse, now an assistant coach at Midwestern State
University in Wichita Falls, alleges that Waco attorney LaNelle
McNamara violated their attorney-client relationship by giving
copies of Rouse's tapes to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2003.
The malpractice lawsuit filed Friday in district court in
McLennan County seeks at least $1.5 million in damages. Rouse
alleges that McNamara engaged in deceptive trade practices and
acted negligently.
McNamara declined to comment on the lawsuit but said that just
because ``allegations are made doesn't mean that they are true.''
Jim Witt, executive editor of the Star-Telegram, said he stands
behind the paper's publication of the contents of the tape. The
newspaper is not being sued.
``We have absolute confidence that our reporter acted in a
completely ethical way in obtaining these tapes and reporting this
story,'' Witt said.
After Baylor player Patrick Dennehy was found dead in 2003 and
his family raised questions about who had been paying his tuition,
Rouse secretly recorded Bliss, former Baylor men's basketball head
coach, telling some players to falsely portray Dennehy as a drug
dealer.
Bliss and former athletic director Tom Stanton resigned in
August 2003. Later, a school probe revealed several NCAA
violations, including that Bliss improperly paid the tuition of
Dennehy and another player.
Last month former Baylor player Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty to
killing Dennehy and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Rouse's lawsuit alleges that he secretly taped Bliss and hired
McNamara because he ``feared for his life, his safety, the status
of employment at Baylor University and his future employment
opportunities.''
Since the tapes were released, Rouse claims he has been labeled
a snitch and suffered lost income and employment opportunities,
``past, present and future mental anguish and emotional suffering,
threats of bodily harm, public ridicule and vilification.''
If McNamara ``had exercised proper care and diligence, Rouse
would not have been `blacklisted' in the college basketball
community where top college basketball coaches opined on ESPN
sports network that they would not hire him,'' the suit claims.
Rouse earned $42,000 a year at Baylor but now makes $8,000 at
Midwestern State, the suit contends.