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August 18, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Monday, August 18th

Stunned Reaction: Reaction to the underhanded scheme to save his job and avoid NCAA penalties has the nation pretty angry against Dave Bliss, former head coach at Baylor. The plan was to tell investigators that slain basketball player Patrick Dennehy paid for his schooling by selling drugs, as Dennehy was dead and couldn’t refute the accusations. Dennehy’s girlfriend Jessica De La Rosa called the plan “the most cruel and sinister and disgusting thing I have heard.” Dennehy’s stepfather, Brian Brabazon compared Bliss to a child molester. Baylor’s chair of the Board of Regents and Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, after first supporting Bliss four weeks ago, wouldn’t even say Bliss’ name, stating, “All of the Baylor family feel a huge sense of betrayal and anger about the actions taken by the former men’s basketball coach.” School president Robert Sloan reiterated that Baylor would indeed field a team this season, even as many of its top players have requested their release from the program.

Moving Up: South Dakota State has announced that their Jackrabbits will make the leap to Division I. The announcement was made Friday, as the school had to notify their conference, the North Central Conference, by September 1st of their status. South Dakota State will leave the conference effective July 1, 2004. South Dakota, the last state without a Division-I program, stated that they will remain aligned with North Dakota State, which will be a D-I Independent in the 2004-05 season. The hope is that both schools will be approached by a conference as part of a package deal. The Jackrabbits football team will compete as a I-AA school, and has reached an agreement with other I-AA independents such as Northern Colorado, Cal-Poly SLO, Southern Utah, and UC-Davis for the 2004-05 season, and may form a new football conference, if necessary. SDSU and NDSU have shopped themselves to the Big Sky Conference, but were told to keep looking at this point in the game.

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