Bob Knight and Neil Reed. (Photo used via Getty Images subscription).
Former Hoosier Neil Reed, whose allegations of physical abuse by former IU coach Bob Knight ultimately led to Knight's firing, died yesterday at age 36. Reed is survived by his wife and by two young daughters, and by his parents. It is, above all, a tragedy for Reed's family. It's incredibly awful for two young girls to be without a father, for his wife to raise them as a single parent, and for his parents to have to bury their son. In Indiana, Reed will always be remembered, for good or for ill, for his role in Knight's firing. Reed came to IU in 1994 as a McDonald's All-American, a very highly regarded recruit who had spent part of his childhood in Indiana, including his early high school years at Bloomington South. Reed became a fan favorite as he played through injuries, particularly a shoulder injury that forced him to play in a brace early in his career. For whatever reason, Reed's career stagnated, as did the careers of his classmates Andrae Patterson and Charlie Miller, and as did the program generally.
A final note: Reed becomes the third IU player from the late 1990s to die. Jason Collier and William Gladness are the others. All of them have died of apparently natural causes. It's very strange and sad.