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Bias' Father Says Firm Mismanaged Finances

November 10, 1986

James Bias, the father of Maryland basketball player Len Bias who died of a cocaine overdose in June, says the sports management firm that handled his son's financial affairs "did a bum job."

Bias, in an interview published in Sunday's Washington Post, also said Advantage International Inc. did not follow through on a promise that they would provide his son with an insurance policy.

On April 7, Len Bias signed a contract with Advantage in which the firm agreed to "recommend and provide all of your insurance needs, including life, property, health, disability and liability." Len Bias did not have a life insurance policy when he died.

James Bias contends that Advantage allowed his son to spend more than $11,000 during the 2 1/2 months before he was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA draft.

Bias said Advantage also did not fulfill an oral commitment to limit his son's spending to "around $350 per month."

Lee Fentress, who signed Bias to the contract, told the Post he set up a monthly budget for Bias and advised him to curb his "excessive" spending.

"Len Bias was a 21-year-old adult," Fentress said. "It was his money. We gave advice as we saw fit. Sometimes it was followed. Sometimes it wasn't."

Fentress said Bias was covered by a $1 million accident and disability policy with an accidental death provision. Sources said the policy stated that no benefits would be paid in the event of a self-induced, drug-related death.

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