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Former Coach David Bliss Shares Story of Redemption

By Cutter Roberts - Student Editor at HSU



“I cheated,” says David Bliss as he speaks to students at Hardin-Simmons University. “I allowed the competitive world of college athletics to compromise my moral compass,” says Bliss, “but my story is one of encouragement, it gives reason to believe.”Bliss is the former head coach of the Baylor Bears men’s basketball team who was fired in 2002 because of NCAA violations. Calling that coaching position his dream job, he shared his story of failure, and ultimately this story of redemption with HSU students during the morning chapel service.{{more}}Bliss tells the students “I am the headlights flashing on the country road, warning you of something ahead. I never thought I would do something to humiliate my family and the people I love. But it did happen to me and I am here to warn you that it happens.”A student of legendary coach Bob Knight, Bliss explained to HSU students that his violations came to light when one of his basketball players was tragically murdered. He says the violations were exposed in the aftermath of the tragedy at Baylor. “I cheated on something I didn’t need to cheat on,” says Bliss. “I was afraid of not having enough basketball players, so I paid for two of my players to continue going to school after their scholarship money ran out.” He says, “I had my darkest moment broadcast on ESPN. I embarrassed my family and the people whom I loved around me.”“At this time, I didn’t think I would smile again.” Bliss told students that it was then that he asked God, “Can I have a do over?” Bliss says that was when he realized he had to put Jesus on a pedestal. Bliss says, “I learned the difference between being saved and surrendering. God can repair anything if you give him all the pieces,” says Bliss. Bliss admits that it was hard to “forgive himself” but takes comfort in the fact that he can always “accept God’s forgiveness.” Bliss closes by telling HSU students that “Jesus Christ is our safety net. Every day we have opportunities to increase Christ in us.”Bliss speaks around the country about his story of redemption through his ministry, called Game Plan Ministries. Bliss has been asked to share his journey with men’s groups, university students, churches, high school organizations, and numerous teams throughout the country. He addressed coaches at the 2008 San Antonio Final Four and the 2009 Texas High School Coaches Association.This past May, Bliss was hired as the academic dean of students at Allen Academy in Bryan, the oldest college prep school in Texas.Bliss is a friend of HSU’s former basketball coach Dennis Harp who now works in the university advancement office.

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