Lenny, Lefty and the Chancellor: The Len Bias Tragedy and the Search for Reform in Big-Time College Basketball

Overview

Where were you on June 19, 1986? That's the day when Len Bias, one of the greats of the college basketball game, a player seemingly destined for NBA stardom, died of a cocaine overdose. For the next several months, millions followed the continuing, unfolding tragedy at the University of Maryland at College Park. Six years later, where is big-time basketball, the big-money game whose vulnerabilities began to come to life with Bias's death? How far has it come in reforming itself against the abuses that contributed...

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Lenny, Lefty, and the Chancellor: The Len Bias Tragedy and the Search for Reform in Big-time College Basketball

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Overview

Where were you on June 19, 1986? That's the day when Len Bias, one of the greats of the college basketball game, a player seemingly destined for NBA stardom, died of a cocaine overdose. For the next several months, millions followed the continuing, unfolding tragedy at the University of Maryland at College Park. Six years later, where is big-time basketball, the big-money game whose vulnerabilities began to come to life with Bias's death? How far has it come in reforming itself against the abuses that contributed to the Bias tragedy? In Lenny, Lefty, and the Chancellor, Baltimore Sun reporter C. Fraser Smith answers those questions through the microcosm of the University of Maryland. He demonstrates how, despite numerous obstacles, the University of Maryland has been reforming its program during the five years since Bias's death—actually transforming it from sinkhole to national model. In so doing, Smith provides the first book to look at the problems of intercollegiate sports from the college president's perspective, a point of view crucial to getting balance instilled in such programs.

Len Bias, one of the most celebrated college basketball players of his time, died at the age of 21 of a cocaine overdose. Was it just drugs, or did a faulty system contribute to his death? Baltimore Sun reporter C. Fraser Smith presents a well-written and thoroughly investigated account of the Len Bias tragedy, exposing the inside world of big-time college sports and the "forgotten" athlete. Bancroft Press

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- University of Maryland basketball player Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose the day after being picked by the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association draft of collegiate players. His death drew national attention to the use of drugs in college and professional basketball. Smith recounts not only information previously presented in books and in magazine and newspaper articles, but also offers insights beyond it. He explores the results of this intense scrutiny on the lives of Lefty Driessel, the coach who was forced to resign, and John Slaughter, the chancellor who tried to contain the scandal. This is an excellent account of the investigation into the corruption of sports and sports players as personified by the tragic death of one promising young man. It should have wide appeal to sports fans and beyond.-- Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963124609
  • Publisher: Bancroft Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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