We are, and should always be, a world where people are afforded second chances. Perhaps in some cases, even a third chance.
Not one of us is perfect. Not one of us can look at our lives and confidently say we’ve never made a mistake. Being human in and of itself means we are inherently flawed, we will stumble, and in most cases we should deserve a shot at redemption.
Dave Bliss, however, is the epitome of when chances have run out. He has rightfully earned the scorn that follows someone who is either arrogant beyond comprehension, blind to reprehensible failings, or simply believes people in general are too stunningly stupid to see past his lies and lack of simple concern for the deceased.
For those coming in late, it begins in 2003 with the murder of a Baylor University basketball player. Then Head Coach Dave Bliss broke NCAA rules in order to keep Patrick Dennehy on the team. But it was more than just a simple rules violation. It was a cover-up that would destroy not only a program and a number of innocent lives, but expose Bliss as a liar willing to save his skin at any cost.
From the “New York Times” in 2003.
Bliss was chased from the game and given a 10 year suspension from holding another NCAA job, so he did what any narcissistic liar would do. He plied his trade at the high school level after going on an “apology tour”, jammed with the usual sympathy-seeking ploys of having shamed by his family and his faith. And it didn’t take long for Bliss to prove yet again he had learned nothing from his mistakes, and would use God and sympathy to bamboozle anyone and everyone.
Fearing he was once again about to be uncovered, Bliss sough to disappear from the spotlight yet again. However in 2016, knowing there was a documentary being produced about his crimes at Baylor, Bliss went on the offensive again with yet another apology tour.
Bliss certainly did know what was coming. The documentary “Disgraced” produced for the “Showtime” cable network made it’s debut in March of 2017. Once again, Dave Bliss was exposed for the serial liar he was and remains.
The truly shocking part of the documentary? Bliss volunteered to be interviewed, unable to stop himself from trying to justify his crimes, his lies, and his insatiable need for attention.
Bliss had actually snaked his way back to the NCAA after serving his initial suspension, becoming Head Coach at Southwestern Christian University. The release of the documentary and his continued insistence that Dennehey was killed because he was a drug dealer, for which there has ever been one single shred of evidence, forced the hand of his employer. Dave Bliss is out of work, again.
There are those who will view this as the sad tale of a man who for needs help more than criticism. They will look past the con job he’s pulled on the people at Baylor, the players he was hired to lead by experience and example, the families of those forever tainted by his fraud, and everyone along the line who bought into his incessant lies. All of which were concocted not for any altruistic reason, only to save his ass and keep a paycheck rolling in.
He has no qualms about trading on the reputation of a murdered young man in order to remain relevant and the center of attention.
There are those who make mistakes and absolutely deserve second, maybe even third chances to make good. Again, as human beings, we are all subject to being stunningly stupid and selfish.
But Dave Bliss is a special case, one that everyone needs to learn from. A dangerous individual who will lie and cheat to any length possible in order to save himself. One who has no concern for anyone but himself. A person given the opportunity to lead by example, trusted with the dreams and passions of others, yet in the end uses everyone for his own selfish desires.
Dave Bliss is everything you don’t want to be. Someone who has earned scorn and derision in this life and well beyond his mortal existence.
Life is much too short to be hoodwinked by the cheats and liars. We have at our disposal a greater means to uncover them now than at any time in our history. Integrity demands we never stop calling them out and understanding why, at the end of the day, they are here to help us learn what real leadership, integrity and responsibility is.
The exact opposite of what their actions have revealed them to be. And not worthy of our time in seeking to save.