In the early morning hours of June 19, 1986, Len Bias, the 22-year-old University of Maryland All-America basketball player, collapsed in his dormitory suite. A few hours later, he was pronounced dead. The end of his dramatic amateur career came just two days after he had been selected by the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association draft.
But the story of Len Bias took a dramatic turn when, on June 20, investigators announced they had found a bag containing a white, powdery substance in Bias' sports car. And on June 24 Maryland's medical examiner confirmed that Bias had died of "cocaine intoxication."
That announcement came just one day after thousands of friends and fellow athletes had paid their last respects. On that day, June 23, Len Bias was laid to rest. But the ensuing investigation brought turmoil and lasting changes to the lives of several key people. BRIAN LEE TRIBBLE On July 28, 1986, Brian Lee Tribble surrendered after being indicted on drug charges related to Len Bias' death. Tribble had been with Bias the morning Bias collapsed. He later was indicted on obstruction of justice charges. He was acquitted on all counts Wednesday night after a trial in which he did not testify. TERRY LONG A basketball teammate of Bias' at Maryland, Long was with him at the time of his death. Long was charged with one count of possessing cocaine and obstructing justice, allegedly for removing evidence of drugs from the dormitory suite. Long pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were later dropped in exchange for testimony against Brian Tribble. He dropped out of school last fall. DAVID GREGG A teammate of Bias', Gregg was with Bias the night he died and was indicted on the same charges as Long -- possessing cocaine and obstructing justice. The charges were dropped when he joined Long in testifying against Tribble. Gregg is still a student at Maryland, will be eligible to return to the basketball team next year, after having been suspended, and is considering transferring. LEFTY DRIESELL After 17 years as Maryland's basketball coach, Lefty Driesell resigned on Oct. 29, 1986, amid the controversy over the Bias investigation. He was reassigned as an assistant athletic director, a job he still holds. The grand jury refused to indict Driesell for obstruction of justice. He is being considered as coach of a new NBA team planned for Charlotte, N.C. JOHN B. SLAUGHTER University of Maryland Chancellor Slaughter was initially criticized for not acting forcefully to deal with University of Maryland problems related to Bias' death. He subsequently forced the resignation of Driesell, defended outgoing athletic director Dick Dull, tightened academic requirements for athletes and launched a study on drug abuse. DICK DULL After five years as athletic director at the University of Maryland, Dull resigned in October 1986 during the most turbulent period in the university's 94-year athletic history. A few days before Bias' death, Dull had said he planned to fulfill his contract. However, he decided to leave after the Bias investigation, the controversy of Driesell and other athletic problems. ARTHUR A. (BUD) MARSHALL JR. The Prince George's County state's attorney was a controversial figure for his 24 years in office, but many politicians felt it was his zeal in investigating the death of Bias that contributed to his defeat in the Democratic primary election in September 1986. Many said he used the case for political gain. He now practices law in Prince George's. ALEX WILLIAMS As a 38-year-old Howard University law professor and political newcomer, Williams defeated Marshall and subsequently become the first black in a dozen years to be elected to countywide office. After the primary, Williams said part of his victory "is reflected in the misuse of the Bias case." During the campaign, Williams had called for a special prosecutor for the case. LONISE BIAS Since her son's death, Lonise Bias has made more than 60 speeches on the danger of drug abuse to thousands of young people across the nation. Less than a year ago she was a wife and mother and an assistant manager at the National Bank of Washington. But since Bias' death, she has become a public figure with a mission.