Winning Games, Flunking Grades
Len Bias and Terry Mills never played on the same basketball team, and the events that befell each one this summer were very different. Yet the two gifted athletes, one at the end and the other at the beginning of his college sports career, symbolize the turmoil afflicting intercollegiate athletics—as well as, possibly, the hope for reform.
Bias' death from a cocaine overdose June 19, just two days after he signed a lucrative contract to play in the National Basketball Association, profoundly shook the college sports world. Coming as it did on the heels of a seemingly endless string of scandals and controversies—involving recruiting violations, illegal payments to players and “point-shaving” in connection with gambling—the tragedy prompted soul-searching at schools with major ...