Former Baylor men’s basketball coach Dave Bliss, who has somehow continued to make a living as a coach despite being best known for smearing a former player, Patrick Dennehy, right after Dennehy had been murdered by a teammate, is once again, for some goddamn reason, smearing Patrick Dennehy.
Dennehy was shot and killed by his teammate, Cartlon Dotson, in 2003 while both played for Bliss. After the murder, Bliss did everything he could to convince people that Dennehy paid for his tuition by dealing drugs, a lie Bliss concocted to try and prevent investigators from discovering that he had been violating NCAA rules by paying Dennehy’s tuition himself. Secret audio recordings proved that Bliss wanted to float the drug-dealer theory in order to cover his own ass, and no evidence was ever found suggesting that Dennehy was a drug dealer.
Bliss is in the news again because a documentary about the 2003 scandal, titled Disgrace, premiered at South by Southwest this weekend, and it contains footage of Bliss shamelessly smearing Dennehy. From the Houston Chronicle:
“He (Dennehy) was selling drugs. He sold to all the white guys on campus,” Bliss said. “... He was the worst.”
As he repeated his comments about Dennehy, Bliss said, “You’ll never be able to use this,” and got out of his chair to continue talking with his face out of camera range but with his voice still audible.
Bliss, who resigned at Baylor in August 2003, acknowledged that he glommed onto the plan to smear Dennehy in an attempt to save his job.
“I got that from the investigative committee,” he said. “The fact that I used their thoughts was reprehensible, but I didn’t come up with the idea. I used the idea that the committee was pursuing.”
The Chronicle reached out to Bliss to see if he stood by the comments made in in the film, and, unbelievably, this is what he had to say:
“Now the real story is out there,” he added. “Everybody thought that I made it up. When I agreed to speak for the documentary, I did so because I thought the story had been misrepresented for all these years. I feel badly that the whole thing occurred, and it was reprehensible, but everything I shared is the truth.”
Bliss is currently the men’s basketball coach at Southwestern Christian University. God knows why.