University Will Investigate Driesell
University of Maryland regents will look into the actions of basketball Coach Lefty Driesell and explore the extent of drug abuse on campus in the wake of the death of All-American Len Bias, a state official said Thursday. Bias died of cocaine intoxication a week ago, two days after the Boston Celtics made him their No. 1 pick and the second player taken in the National Basketball Assn. draft.
Arthur A. Marshall Jr., the prosecutor directing the investigation into Bias’ death, said Driesell held a team meeting at his home hours after the death to advise his players on how to respond to questions from police and the news media.
Driesell has said he gathered the players to console them. “We prayed together,” he said at the time.
A state official who asked that his name not be used said that the Board of Regents would look into Driesell’s actions as well as the academic records of athletes.
It has been reported that five of the school’s 12 basketball players flunked out of school last semester, and that one out of every 10 of Maryland’s athletes flunk out each semester. Bias failed three courses and received no credit for his other two in the spring semester.
Baltimore radio station WBAL reported that Bias bought eight grams of cocaine in Washington the morning of his death. The station, quoting unidentified sources at the University of Maryland, said that Bias paid $800 for the drug.
Three people who were with Bias when he died, two of them teammates, are refusing to talk to investigators and will be subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury next week, police said Thursday.
Spokesman Bruce Gentile of the Prince Georges County police said that lawyers for Maryland players Terry Long and David Gregg and former Maryland student Brian Tribble have told authorities that they will not answer police questions on the death of Bias.
Police investigators on the scene shortly after Bias’ death found that his room had been recently cleaned and discovered cut straws and cocaine paraphernalia in a dumpster outside the building.
United Press International reported Thursday that the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia has ordered an investigation into the sale of the cocaine that killed Bias.