The documentary DISGRACED, which recounts the shocking murder of Baylor University men’s basketball star Patrick Dennehy as well as an attempted cover-up of NCAA rule violations, will world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, followed by its debut on SHOWTIME on March 31.
DISGRACED examines the tragic events surrounding the 2003 murder of Dennehy, to which fellow teammate and friend Carlton Dotson pled guilty in the only known instance in the history of the NCAA where one student-athlete was convicted of murdering another. Through first-hand accounts from students, investigators, family and friends, DISGRACED calls into question the plea and conviction of Dotson.
The film also includes exclusive and revealing interviews with former head coach Dave Bliss, who directly addresses the attempted cover-up and secretly recorded statements he made in 2003 that implicated him in NCAA rule violations. The violations, revealed in part by whistle blower and then assistant coach Abar Rouse, ultimately led to Bliss’ resignation and a partial ban on NCAA play for the Baylor Bears basketball team.
“This is a complex story, told through powerful first-person accounts, about both a senseless murder and an attempted cover-up of NCAA rule violations that still reverberate within Baylor University and collegiate athletics to this day,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “DISGRACED is yet another provocative, compelling and culturally relevant documentary delivered with the inside perspective that has become the hallmark of unscripted programming from SHOWTIME Sports.”
Recruited by Coach Bliss, Dennehy was a standout player with a bright future until the 6-foot-10 forward went missing under a set of bizarre circumstances. The murder and then the attempted cover-up of improper payments to players rocked the Baptist university in Waco, Texas. Ultimately, Dotson pled guilty and the university and Bliss were cited for multiple NCAA rule violations. Bliss essentially was ousted from NCAA basketball for 10 years.
In contemplating his involvement in the attempted cover-up, his 2003 resignation and his religious faith, Bliss said, “A question that a man always has to ask himself when he goes through something like I went through, are you in a better spot than you were before? Was it worth it? And the answer to me is yes.”
Bliss recently returned to coaching at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).