Athletic Director Dick Dull met yesterday with Lefty Driesell and reassured the University of Maryland basketball coach "that we were all behind him and together" in the aftermath of the sudden death of all-America Len Bias early Thursday.
"I just wanted to know how he was holding up and how the Bias family was, and what he wanted to do with respect to: Was he going to speak at both ceremonies, etc?" said Dull. "But I basically went in to reassure Lefty that we were all behind him and together."
Bias, chosen by the Boston Celtics as the second pick in last week's NBA draft, collapsed in his dormitory suite early Thursday and was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale. Police sources said evidence of cocaine was found in his urine, and state medical examiners are conducting an autopsy to determine what caused his cardiac arrest. Police tested a white powder taken from Bias' car Friday, and sources said last night it is cocaine. Police plan to interview the two teammates and another friend believed to be with Bias when he collapsed.
A private funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at University Chapel and a memorial service is scheduled for Cole Field House at 7 that night. The Associated Press reported that, at the memorial service, Driesell will retire Bias' jersey No. 34 and that Boston Celtics president Red Auerbach will present a Celtics No. 30 jersey to Bias' parents.
Driesell declined requests for interviews.
Although many of his players went into Driesell's office Friday, Dull said the coach was not conducting an investigation.
"I think the discussions Lefty has had with the players are probably his involvement with his team in a normal manner, and I'm sure, out of curiosity, he'd like to know exactly as much as he possibly can," Dull said. "But, as far as doing a formal inquiry, there's none. He indicated to me that this thing is too big for all of us."
The Baltimore Sun yesterday quoted Bias' father, James, as saying he was prepared to face "whatever comes out" of the investigation. "No matter what anybody says, there will always be an empty space in our life," the Sun quoted him as saying. ". . . I still have three children left that I love very dearly. And I'll remember the good things about Lenny. That's all I have to hang on to."