Baylor hoops coach Bliss resigns, program placed on probation

Updated: August 8, 2003, 7:56 PM ET

WACO, Texas - Amid infractions that prompted the school to place its men's basketball program on probation for at least two years, Baylor coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned Friday.

The announcements came 2 1/2 weeks after Carlton Dotson was charged with the murder of former Baylor teammate Patrick Dennehy, whose badly decomposed body was found not far from campus on July 27.

Conceding it's been a "tragic summer" for the Baptist university, Bliss took responsibility for NCAA rules that allegedly were broken during his four-year tenure.

"I am the head coach and I am accountable for everything that goes on in my program," he said. "I will cooperate fully and do what I can to make things right. We've made mistakes, but we own up to them from this point forward."

Bliss was followed to the podium by university president Dr. Robert J. Sloan Jr., who announced the basketball program has been placed on probation and will not participate in the postseason, including the 2004 Big 12 Conference tournament.

According to Sloan, a preliminary investigation revealed that two players received tuition payments from an unidentified third party. Sloan also disclosed that staff members were aware of the use of banned substances by student-athletes and that the school failed to follow proper drug testing procedures.

Effective immediately, the athletic department has been removed from the drug testing program, which will be administered by doctors and nurses at the Baylor Health Center. Results will be reported to the school's Office of Judicial and Legal Student Services, Sloan said.

"Baylor University cares about its integrity," Sloan added. "Baylor University cares deeply about its students."

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said he supports Sloan and the investigation he launched weeks ago.

"We will work closely with the university as it completes the necessary NCAA and Big 12 Conference reporting requirements associated with this case," Weiberg said in a statement. "We will also move forward with a process to review adjustments to the conference men's basketball tournament format as a result of the postseason competitive ban announced today."

While Bliss admitted involvement in the violations, Stanton had "no direct knowledge of any infractions," Sloan noted.

"As the man of character he is, he accepts responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the Baylor University athletic program," Sloan said.

Allegations of NCAA rules violations surfaced while authorities began their search for Dennehy, a transfer from New Mexico who disappeared June 11.

Bliss, 59, also came to Baylor from New Mexico prior to the 1999-2000 season. He compiled a 61-57 record with the Bears and guided them to NIT following the 2000-01 campaign.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index