Finally, Len Bias To Be Inducted Into Terps Hall of Fame

Featured, Sports and Bets — July 16, 2014 at 9:32 pm by

Twenty-eight years after he succumbed to cardiac arrhythmia caused by a cocaine overdose, the University of Maryland will finally induct Len Bias into their Athletics Hall of Fame.

Despite the way Bias died, this induction is long overdue.

Bias was the greatest basketball player to ever wear the Maryland Red, Black, and Gold.   Bias played all four years at Maryland.  In his senior season Bias averaged 23 points and 7 rebounds a game and was a consensus First Team All-American.  He was also ACC Player of The Year twice in ‘1985 and 1986.

Here is some of his finest work…..

Bias was not just good, Bias was a special player.   Number 34 possessed every athletic attribute imaginable.  Bias had speed, power, skill, and could jump through the damn roof.  At the conclusion of his senior season (a lot of players stayed in school back then), Bias was drafted second overall by the Boston Celtics. It was on to the big time.  He was going to Boston to play with Larry Bird.

Bias getting drafted that high and to that team was incredible. I was a fan of a team from Boston for just two days.  Because two days after being drafted, Len Bias would die.

Bias’ death, and the way he died, had a tsunami-style ripple effect at Maryland.  Legendary Terps’ Coach Lefty Driesell resigned, as did athletic director Dick Dull. (Nice name.)

A few years later the Terps would end up on NCAA probation after Driesell’s replacement, Bob Wade, was found guilty of several recruiting transgressions.  Many believe the probation was intensified as a punishment for the circumstances surrounding Bias’ death.

In life, Bias’ basketball greatness transcended the University of Maryland and basketball, he was that good. For years, and even to this day, I’ve had multiple discussions on the. “what ifs”, that surround Bias death.

Would Michael Jordan still be Jordan, or would have Bias and the Celtics checked his dominance?

Would Bias have blossomed into the greatest player ever, and what would that have done for Maryland Basketball?

Had Bias lived, would Gary Williams ever have coached at Maryland, or would he have forever stayed at Ohio State?

 

Of course, we’ll never know these answers, nor will we ever really know the circumstances surrounding Len’s death.

Was Bias an addict, or was this a freak accident that happened to a first time user?

Did Lefty turn a blind eye to team drug use, and did he tell Terp players to remove drugs from Bias’ room after his death?

None of that matters now.

And in regards to Bias’ Hall of Fame induction, it shouldn’t have mattered then. (The Lefty stuff always matters, he should have been fired instead of being allowed to resign.)

Bias is a Terp Hall of Famer and he always has been.  His formal inclusion shouldn’t have been contingent on the matter in which he died. I understand that Maryland was attempting to distance themselves from a scandal, but when I look back, I think the University should have enshrined him a year after his death. It would have helped with the grief and the healing felt by a University and a community.

Len Bias is one of the reasons I love the University of Maryland.  He’s still my favorite Terp of all time.  Watching him for those four years at Maryland, I felt like I knew him.  He was the best player on my favorite team.  The Terps and ACC basketball seemed bigger around these parts back then.  More people in Baltimore cared about Terps’ hoops.  Len was what made them go and his talent put Maryland into the national spotlight.  His death was a slap in the face, a sharp dose of reality for many, including me.  I realized after Bias’ heart stopped that sport’s heroes are just that, sports heroes.  They have weaknesses and problems just the same as everyone else. They are just regular folks who happen to be good at sports. Bias was good at sports and he obviously had some problems. Bias’ problem, unfortunately, turned deadly and tragic. His death put a lot into perspective. He was either a kid who made some awful and deadly decisions or an addict that was sick and hadn’t learned how to control himself. His passing was stupid and embarrassing, but his basketball legacy shouldn’t suffer for that.  If he would have passed in any other way he would have been enshrined in this Hall 27 years ago.  This enshrinement is long overdue.   The tragedy of his death shouldn’t have overshadowed the celebration of his life and that’s exactly what Maryland allowed to happen by excluding him.  His death was completely avoidable, and his passing is a life lesson for everyone even to this day, but now it’s time to finally move on.  It’s for the Terps to finally feel good about Len Bias again.

Welcome home Lenny, it’s been too long…..

 

 

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