Baylor coach defends assistants, players


WACO, Texas - With Patrick Dennehy's empty locker behind him, Baylor men's basketball coach Dave Bliss yesterday again defended his staff's actions before the disappearance of the player, rejecting assertions by family members that the staff ignored threats against him.

Bliss said he's convinced that police do not consider any of his current players suspects in Dennehy's disappearance.

"They continue to support what they said several days ago: that there's no basketball player with our program that is considered a suspect, and I believe that," Bliss said. "No one on our roster is a suspect."

A Waco police spokesman later said there are several people of interest in the case, including current players and former team member Carlton Dotson, an alumnus of Maryland's North Dorchester High.

Speaking with reporters, Bliss said coaches were aware that Dennehy had complained of some thefts, apparently from his car and apartment. But Bliss said there was no connection to anything more serious.

"We did what anybody would do," he said. "I told them to make a report with the police, and I would do that in any case when anybody had a claim of that nature."

The coach's comments, his most specific since the player was reported missing June 19, came a day after Dennehy's mother, Valorie Brabazon, said Baylor assistant coaches Doug Ash and Rodney Belcher told her that Dennehy had informed them that someone was threatening or stalking him in the days before his disappearance.

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