Sordid Tale Leads To Incredible Recovery For NCAA-Bound Baylor

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WACO -- Baylor's incredible basketball revival begins with a sordid tale.

It's one involving the murder of a player by a former teammate
and despicable acts by a now-ex coach.

The Bears (21-10), the last of the 65 teams revealed on
selection Sunday, are the number eleven seed in the NCAA West
Regional.

Baylor will play its first NCAA tournament game in 20 years --
on Thursday, against number six Purdue (24-8) in Washington.

Scott Drew, the enthusiastic young coach who took over in 2003,
has succeeded in a daunting and unprecedented task.

Five summers ago, former player Patrick Dennehy was murdered.
Carlton Dotson later confessed to the crime and is serving a
35-year prison term.

Things then unraveled quickly in the men's basketball program at
the world's largest Baptist university.

School investigators determined that now-former coach Dave Bliss
paid up to $40,000 in tuition for Dennehy and another player and
improperly solicited $87,000 from boosters.

In an attempt to cover up his indiscretions, Bliss wanted to
portray Dennehy as a drug dealer on tapes secretly recorded by an
assistant coach.

Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned. There were
NCAA and school-imposed penalties, including reduced scholarships.

Baylor had only five scholarship players during Drew's first
season, when the overmatched Bears went 8-21 but managed to win
three Big 12 games.

But Drew built the program methodically and attracted quality
players with his infectious optimism.




 
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