Romancing the Brand

College Park, Md.

If Terry Flannery ever doubted the link between an institution's image and its prosperity, the death of Len Bias in June 1986 disabused her of that notion.

Ms. Flannery took a job in the admissions office of her alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park, shortly after Mr. Bias, an All-American basketball star, died in his campus dormitory room of a cocaine overdose. Local and national news media jumped on the tragedy, reporting