SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) — Neil Reed, the former Indiana basketball player whom Coach Bob Knight was caught on tape choking in 1997, leading to sanctions against Knight and reinforcing his reputation as hot-tempered, died Thursday after collapsing in his home in Nipomo, Calif. He was 36.
The cause was heart complications, said Shanda Hererra, the principal of Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, where Reed had worked since 2007 coaching football, basketball, golf and teaching physical education.
In March 2000, Reed accused Knight of choking him during a practice in 1997. When video of the practice surfaced backing Reed’s claim, Knight, a Hall of Fame coach who was known for his angry outbursts as well as his success, was put on zero-tolerance notice by Dr. Myles Brand, then the university president. That September, Knight was fired after a student said he had grabbed his arm.
Reed transferred to Southern Mississippi shortly after the choking incident and played there in the 1998-99 season.
He is survived by his wife, Kelly, and two daughters.