Posts Tagged ‘Dick Dull’

Self-Induced Scrutiny

October 26, 2013

Task Forces and a Review

Within weeks of Len Bias’s death, Maryland Chancellor John Slaughter appointed J. Robert Dorfman, a university physics professor, to serve as the chairman of a task force to review the academic practices of the athletic department. He disagrees with Dull’s assertion that Bias’s death disrupted the relationship between athletics and academics. Rather, he says, it made such big headlines that it drew the whole university community together to focus on academics and athletics. “Many faculty came up to me afterward and told me they had learned a great deal from the reporting and the television interviews. They had a better understanding of what was going on in the athletic department.”

Slaughter also initiated a task forces to examine the school’s policies related to education and drug-abuse prevention. Further, Slaughter asked University of Michigan Athletic Director Don Canham to lead a group to review the athletic department’s structure and efficiency. That review stated the department was overstaffed and disorganized, leading to the release of more than a dozen staff members in January 1987. The academic-achievement task force released its report on September 30, 1986. It recommended a number of reforms, some of which were implemented as early as the winter of 1987.

Bias_cover_pngExcerpted from the book, Born Ready: the Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Learn about the Born Ready Project that teaches life skills, using Len’s legacy as a teaching tool.

BornReadyLogo_Finalv2b (1)

Dull Displaced

October 25, 2013

“I don’t have regrets.”

On the morning of June 19, 1986, Maryland Athletic Director Dick Dull was home when Maryland Assistant Vice President John Bielec called to inform him of Bias’s death. Dull immediately called Jeff Hathaway, an assistant athletic director, to go to Leland Memorial Hospital in nearby Riverdale and confirm the news. The tragedy turned Dull’s world upside down. “I was in shell shock for about six weeks,” he says. “You go from being the fair-haired boy to people calling for you to leave. It was difficult for me to handle. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.”

Dull says he felt as if he were one of the main characters in what he called “a Greek tragedy” in which there were no winners. “I can remember walking out of my office to go to the bathroom, and someone would be following me down the hallway. It was like that every day.”

When Dull publicly stated that head basketball coach Lefty Driesell should keep his job despite the fact that he was part of a grand jury investigation, he sensed his own job was in jeopardy. It was a move that helped convince Maryland Chancellor John Slaughter that a change was needed. “Dr. Slaughter told me ‘I wish you hadn’t said that.’ He felt he had to make a decision about Driesell,” Dull says. “I painted myself in a corner because of my support for Lefty. We agreed that the situation was not going to go away unless I stepped away. I don’t have regrets.”

Bias_cover_pngExcerpted from the book, Born Ready: the Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Learn about the Born Ready Project that teaches life skills, using Len’s legacy as a teaching tool.

BornReadyLogo_Finalv2b (1)