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Bliss a candidate to coach Dakota Wizards

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Dave Bliss, who resigned as Baylor University men's basketball coach in the wake of a scandal two years ago, is a candidate for the job of Dakota Wizards head coach.

"We're checking his references and checking this out," owner
Steve McCormick told The Bismarck Tribune. "What he told us, and
how he told us, we felt reasonably comfortable."

McCormick said Bliss had contacted the Wizards about the
coaching vacancy.

Another serious candidate for the job is Brian Walsh, who served
as an assistant coach under Owens last season. Walsh also was an
assistant under Bliss at Baylor, but had left the team before the
program was hit by the 2003 scandal.

Wizards general manager Jane Link confirmed that Bliss was one of approximately five candidates being considered for the position, which opened when the Wizards declined to renew the contract of
coach Casey Owens.

"He is a candidate, and we are looking at the candidates from
all angles," Link said.

The team hopes to have an announcement by early next week, Link
said. She could not elaborate, she said.

Allegations of NCAA violations surfaced at Baylor after the
death of player Patrick Dennehy, in June 2003. Bliss and athletic
director Tom Stanton resigned two months later. A former teammate,
Carlton Dotson, pleaded guilty in June this year to killing
Dennehy.

A former assistant coach secretly recorded Bliss trying to
persuade others to portray Dennehy as a drug dealer to cover up
illegal payments to players and other violations, the Fort Worth
Star-Telegram reported.