Hoops: Baylor's Taylor Plans To Transfer To Texas

Former Baylor starting guard <B>Kenny Taylor</B>, a high school teammate of former Longhorns All-American <B>T.J. Ford</B>, told a Houston television station that he will transfer to Texas after making an unofficial visit to Austin last weekend, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Taylor was his team’s third-leading scorer last season with 11.8 ppg. He contributed 16 points in Baylor’s 82-71 loss to Texas in Waco on January 15 and had 11 points in the Feb. 26 route of the Bears in Austin, 82-64. He attended Houston Willowridge and, together with Ford, helped the school claim consecutive Texas 5A basketball championships.

While Texas should benefit from another shooter (whose scorer’s touch is reminiscent of senior G Brandon Mouton), Taylor’s decision is another piece of the fallout from the surreal and sordid story surrounding the death of player Patrick Dennehy.

Last month, the school began an internal investigation that surfaced major NCAA violations after Dennehy was last seen on June 12. In July, his body was found with two gunshot wounds to the head in an isolated field outside of Waco. Former teammate Carlton Dotson has been charged with murder and is awaiting extradition in Maryland prison.

Coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned Aug. 8, a week before tape recorded conversations were made public in which Bliss urged athletes and assistant coaches to allege that Dennehy was a drug dealer. Bliss allegedly paid players and intentionally overlooked the results of mandatory drug testing for players.

Baylor officials have said they do not want to cancel the season, although the school placed the program on a two-year probation and won't participate in any postseason tournaments next year. But all appearances indicate that fielding a team for the 2003-04 would now require another Miracle on the Brazos.

Earlier this week, Lawrence Roberts (Baylor’s leading scorer and rebounder last season) announced his decision to transfer to Mississippi State. Junior G John Lucas III, sophomore F Tommy Swanson and JC transfer Harvey Thomas have also reportedly asked for releases. Baylor officials have asked the NCAA to waive a statute requiring players leaving a school to sit out one year before they are eligible to play for another program. Athletes transferring within the conference also typically lose a year of eligibility, but both the NCAA and Big 12 transfer rules could be excepted for members of the Baylor program because of the circumstances surrounding the Dennehy/Bliss situation.

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