Digging Out of a Hole

Every year in collegiate athletics, scandals develop and erupt at campuses around the country. 
Two or three universities get hit with some unfavorable media coverage of allegations regarding their athletic department. In 2011, Penn State and Miami were each hit by hurricane-sized scandals, no pun intended.

Miami booster Nevin Shapiro

Sports fans already know what Jerry Sandusky did in the showers at Penn State and what Nevin Shapiro paid Miami football players, but the truth of the matter is that time heals all wounds.

Back in the summer of 2003, the Baylor men’s basketball program was hit with one of the most terrifying scandals in sports history.

Dave Bliss

Patrick Dennehy, a junior forward who transferred to Baylor from the University of New Mexico had high hopes to excel in the Big 12 Conference.  His friend and teammate, Carlton Dotson, lived in an apartment with Dennehy in Waco.  That summer, Dotson became delusional and thought people were after him.  He ended up buying two pistols and a rifle, and ultimately shot Dennehy to death at a farm outside of Waco.

After a month of searching for a missing Dennehy, his body was found in a gravel pit close to campus.  Dotson was convicted of murder and is currently spending life in prison.

This wasn’t a player selling championship rings for spare cash or signing autographs for free tattoos; at Baylor this was one player killing another player.

Patrick Dennehy

Carlton Dotson

This incident opened up a slew of NCAA violations for Baylor  that ranged from widespread drug use to the head coach Dave Bliss paying for two players’ tuition out-of pocket.  The NCAA labeled this situation as “failure to exercise institutional control of the basketball program.”  Couldn’t get any worse huh?

Fast forward nine years.  If you were to walk into Ferrell Center in Waco, you’d never suspect that a scandal of that magnitude would have ever happened less than a decade ago.  Currently, Baylor basketball is ranked in the AP Top 10 and has hopes of a Final Four in March.  Head Coach Scott Drew has picked this program up from the grave and turned it into a contender.

So keep your head up Penn State and Miami fans.  Sure, for the next couple years top recruits in the country won’t visit Happy Valley. Most parents will tell their children not to go to Miami because of how sketch their program has become.   Like I said…time heals all wounds.  Just ask Baylor.

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