Bliss says he 'doesn't deserve' to coach in college

Updated: November 4, 2005, 7:39 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dave Bliss said he doesn't deserve a chance to coach in college again after leaving Baylor amid a scandal and cover-up that unraveled when one of his players was fatally shot by a teammate.

Bliss also said he told former assistant Abar Rouse, who secretly recorded Bliss scheming a cover-up, that he harbored no hard feelings for taping the conversations that helped launch a widespread NCAA investigation in 2003 and spurred Bliss' resignation.

"I don't deserve a chance to coach in college again because I abused my opportunity," Bliss said in Friday's edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The only thing I know now is that my heart is back in the right place."

Bliss spoke to the newspaper in Bismarck, N.D., where he is beginning his first season as coach of the Dakota Wizards of the Continental Basketball Association.

In June, Baylor was put on five years probation and banned from playing nonconference games this season following the investigation that began when former player Patrick Dennehy was shot to death in June 2003.

Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned two months later. In June of this year, former teammate Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty to murder in Dennehy's death and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Baylor found that Bliss improperly paid up to $40,000 in tuition for Dennehy and another player, and that the coaching staff didn't report players' failed drug tests.

In conversations recorded by Rouse, Bliss asked him to lie to investigators by saying Dennehy paid his tuition by dealing drugs.

Bliss said he wants to counsel young coaches in hopes of helping them keep their integrity.

"I have no understanding how I got to that point," Bliss said. "In a panic situation, you don't always make good decisions."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press