Intern Reflections – Project Increases Awareness of the Len Bias legacy

A trio of interns from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism supported production efforts for a documentary about Len Bias during the summer of 2020. They were asked to reflect on their experience.

by Casey Fair

Not only did I further my knowledge within the field of documentary production during my time as an intern for GoGrady Media this summer, I also increased my awareness and understanding of the University of Maryland’s complex history, specifically surrounding Len’s death.

The ripples from Bias’s death were felt for decades within the university’s community, from the athletic department’s budget cuts and personnel changes to how the student athletes were treated on campus. It will be interesting to see how the death of football player, Jordan McNair, impacts the campus in the years to come.

Even more interesting is the impact Bias’s death had on the whole country with drug incarcerations. New legislation was passed in response to Bias’s death which led to a lot of people getting increased sentences that led to increased prison populations and prison conditions worsening. The documentary, Born Ready: A Mixed Legacy, explores this topic heavily—arguably one of the biggest tragedies to come out of Bias’s death.

While I will not be able to see Born Ready: A Mixed Legacy through to the end of production, I look forward to the premiere and seeing the entirety of Len’s story get the recognition it deserves. 

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