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Sports Then and Now



30 Years Ago: Shocking Death of Len Bias 5

Posted on June 19, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Len Bias was an All-American at Maryland.

Len Bias was an All-American at Maryland.

It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed since that shocking day in June of 1986 when one of the brightest young basketball stars of the day was suddenly went from a sports icon to a national symbol for the drug epidemic that seemed to be plaguing the country at the time.

During his college basketball career as a member of the Maryland Terrapins, Len Bias was known as one of the most athletic and talented players in the game and was expected to be an impact player for the Boston Celtics, who chose him with the second pick in the 1986 NBA draft.

Instead, his shocking death on June 19, 1986 became the impact moment for America’s war on drugs and led to harsher laws that negatively impacted the lives of many low-level drug users, a disproportionate number of whom were young black men, who were suddenly faced with mandatory prison sentences.

Even though the Internet was still nearly a decade away, in the days following the death of Len Bias information, much of it proving to be inaccurate, was coming out fast and furious from a national media that was surprisingly captivated by the story.

Even today, it is not typical for a sports event other than the Super Bowl, Olympics or some other large event or a major tragedy to cross into the general national consciousness. However, because of the shocking and abrupt nature of Bias’ death and the fact that drugs were involved at a time when the national “war on drugs” campaign was at its apex, the death took on a larger than normal stature. Read the rest of this entry →

NCAA Classic Rewind: Reich Leads Maryland to Historic Comeback over ‘Canes 4

Posted on August 29, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Frank Reich completed 12 of 15 passes for 260 yards and led the 'Terps to six straight touchdowns in the second half.

Years before he led the greatest comeback in NFL history, Frank Reich was at the helm in the greatest comeback in college football history when he led the Maryland Terrapins back from a 31-point deficit and to a 42-40 win over the Miami Hurricanes on November 10, 1984.

Reich arrived at the University of Maryland in 1980 but did not get much playing time as he was redshirted during his freshman season and then was the back-up to Boomer Esiason from 1981 through 1983.
Reich finally got his chance as the starter in 1984 but in the fourth game of the season, Reich separated his shoulder and was replaced by Stan Gelbaugh, who was still the starter when the 5-3 Terrapins arrived at the Orange Bowl to face off against the defending national champions.
Miami entered the game with as the #6 ranked team in the country with an 8-2 record under first-year head coach Jimmy Johnson, who had come from Oklahoma State to replace the departed Howard Schellenberger.
The ‘Canes were led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Bernie Kosar, who was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy and all-American wide receiver Eddie Brown.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Hurricanes continued their hot play in the first half as they complied 328 yards of total offense and 19 first downs, while holding the Terrapins to 57 yards of offense and three first downs, to build a 31-0 halftime lead thanks to three touchdown passes from Kosar. Read the rest of this entry →
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