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Horrible Man Gets Second Chance: Dave Bliss Coaches Again
The current unemployment rate in the United States is 10.2 percent. Here is a formula for success for those out-of-work individuals:
Become a college coach who is entrusted with the lives and well-beings of young men. Then, do the following:
- Make up a story about a dead player dealing drugs to smear his reputation and mask the fact that you had been paying him money under the table.
- Get caught admitting that you did (1) on tape.
- Come out publicly and say that the dead player couldn’t refute the drug-dealing allegations because he’s dead.
- Oh, and don’t forget to hide the drug tests of your star players who test positive along the way. Ultimately, you will get fired.
However, a short time later, you’ll pop back into the news and get a job over individuals who are far more qualified and, you know, good people.
Dave Bliss, former coach of the Baylor men’s basketball team got a new job last Friday. The disgraced coach -- and terrible person -- was named the new dean of students and coach of the men’s basketball team at Allen Academy, a college preparatory school in Bryan, Texas.
Bliss made headlines a few years ago as the leading man of one of the most horrible, dark scandals in NCAA history.
After Patrick Dennehy -- one of Bliss’ players -- was gunned down, rumors began to circulate that he had been having part of his tuition paid off by school officials. Later, Bliss’ name began to appear as one of the people involved in the whole fiasco.
To avoid being implicated, Bliss made up a story that Dennehy was a low-down, dirty criminal. He hoped this would explain his dead player’s comfortable financial situation and free him of any trouble with the powers that be. He was then caught on tape by an assistant coach ordering his players to tell investigators that the murdered player was a drug dealer. He assured them that they shouldn’t worry because the recently deceased wasn’t alive to defend himself.
Later, it came to light that paying off and hiding the positive drug tests of his players was common practice for Bliss.
In 2005, the taped commands to his players came to light and Bliss’ coaching career ended. That same year, the NCAA instituted a “show cause” penalty on Bliss that required schools to seek permission from the infractions committee before they would be able to hire Bliss.
Throughout his time in Baylor he won more than 500 games.
In 2008, Bliss gave this statement regarding what happened:
"If I was sitting out there, I would say, how can someone who did some of the things I did ever show up at the Final Four, much less speak at it…When you get past denial for a sin, you can cope with just about anything."
Since the incident, Bliss has spent his time volunteering at his son’s Colorado high school. He also coached the CBA’s Dakota Wizards in 2005, and one of the summer teams belonging to Athletes in Action that traveled abroad to face international competition.
Former Baylor President Robert Sloan who reigned supreme during Bliss’ time in Baylor had this to say regarding Allen Academy new hire:
"I commend Allen Academy for hiring Dave Bliss…The real measure of Dave Bliss' career will be found not in the scandal of the past, but in the service that he has been doing for several years and the work he will do in the future -- to mold the lives of young men and women toward discipline, character and moral courage."
Bliss spoke with the Fort Worth Star Telegram regarding his new opportunity.
"Having gone through what I went through, some people would think you would miss the money and the fame of Division I coaching," Bliss told the Star Telegram. "But the part that I really missed was being around young people and being around my players and being on a campus in an educational setting, because that's all I've known for most of my life."
Second chances are fine. Our justice system is based on the idea that individuals commit a crime, pay a price, get rehabilitated and are released into society.
The problem is not that Bliss accepted a position with Allen Academy, it's that the college preparatory school offered him a job in the first place.
Are there really no more qualified coaches in Texas than a guy who would stoop as low as to slander the reputation of a dead player to protect his own behind?
This is the man chosen to help shape the minds of impressionable youths?