Former Indiana guard Neil Reed dies at age 36

  • 07/26/2012 9:42 pm in

According to multiple reports, former Indiana guard Neil Reed died on Thursday at the age of 36.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Reed suffered a massive heart attack on Wednesday and passed away earlier today in Nipomo, California.

Reed played three seasons at Indiana and played in a total of 94 games, starting 72. A native of Metairie, Louisiana, Reed arrived at Indiana for the 1994-1995 season.

He was a McDonald’s All-American at East Jefferson High School.

Reed averaged 9.3 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds before leaving the team following his junior season. He played his entire freshman season with a separated shoulder, averaging 5.9 points in 30 games.

The Louisiana native finished his collegiate career at Southern Mississippi, where he averaged 18.1 points as a senior.

His 938 career points rank 49th all-time on IU’s scoring list.

Three years after leaving Indiana, Reed accused former coach Bob Knight of choking him during a practice, which Knight denied until video later surfaced.

More recently, according to The Times-Picayune, Reed was a teacher and coach at Pioneer Valley High in Santa Maria, California.

Reed is survived by his wife, Kelly, and daughters Marley and Presley.

Twitter reaction to Reed’s passing:

(Photo credit: Indianapolis Star)

Filed to:


    I really liked Neil I am so sad for him and his family…..

    Hated when he left now he’s gone forever..

    Someone needs to start a scholarship fund for his family RIP Neil….

  • I have mixed feelings about Neil Reed. His first two years showed that he was hard nosed and could play in the Big Ten, but in his junior year, something changed like he didn’t want to be there. You could tell that the team wasn’t happy with him. I hate to see that he died at an early age. I wish nothing but the best for his family.

  • Steelhoosier

    Jason Collier, William Gladness, and now Neil Reed. The 90s Hoosiers have had a lot of young deaths.

  • Steelhoosier

    Jason Collier, William Gladness, and now Neil Reed. The 90s Hoosiers have had a lot of young deaths.

  • jasonwehlage

    Sad story…I entered IU same year as what was considered to be a great class w/ Patterson, Miller and Reed in ’94…unfortunately it didn’t end that way, especially for Neil. He had some super memorable games against UK & Iowa but will sadly be remembered for one incident. Terrible for kids to lose a parent at such a young age.

  • Geoff_85

    Nevermind any animosity anyone has/had towards Neil Reed. I’m sure at some point nearly all of us harbored a mixed array of feelings at the man, but this isn’t about that. This is about those little girls and his wife and the rest of his family. This is a tragedy and I feel for all of them.

  • Prayers go out to his family.

  • superhoops

    RIP Neil. Prayers to you and your family.

  • superhoops

    RIP Neil. Prayers to you and your family.

  • O&G

    he was a good man! hard to understand the road he had to walk and the cross he carried. Yet he never let it show. It perhaps molded him into the man he had become and the friend I had known

  • 415Hoosier

    I remember watching Neil Reed in the McDonald’s All-American game. In the last minute, he made some great plays, hit a three and almost brought his team back. I couldn’t wait to see how his ultra-competitive play would transfer to IU.

    Everyone remembers the game against Kentucky during his freshman year. Back when UK’s press was the most dominating defense in the NCAA, Neil Reed ran circles around one All-American after another. He had only one turn over and looked like he could be one of the great Hoosiers.

    I was sitting in one of the worst seats in Assembly Hall the night he hit 6 three-pointers vs. Michigan. Regardless of where you were sitting, the whole place went crazy every time he shot the ball.

    Many people disparaged Reed during Knight’s down fall, but when this kid left Bloomington, it was the first time I thought that maybe Knight’s time had passed. If a kid like Reed wasn’t going to work out, then maybe it was time to move on.

    With 20/20 hindsight, I think a lot of Hoosiers know that we’re a lot better off now than we were during those tough seasons in the late ’90s. More than anything, it’s too bad that a 22 year-old kid got tossed into the eye of the storm with an entire state treating him as public enemy #1.

    RIP Neil Reed.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    R.I.P. Neil.

    It’s sad that he will be remembered as “the guy who got Bobby Knight fired.” My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and daughters. Way too young to die. God bless.

  • HoosierTrav

    What a tragedy. Prayers for Neil and his family are being sent. I hope nobody reads the comments section of ESPN’s article. Pure evil being spewed left and right. At least here on inside the hall that $*#! would be deleted before most see it.

  • HoosierTrav

    What a tragedy. Prayers for Neil and his family are being sent. I hope nobody reads the comments section of ESPN’s article. Pure evil being spewed left and right. At least here on inside the hall that $*#! would be deleted before most see it.

  • SCHoosier

    Sympathies to the family of Neil Reed. No need to rehash all the Bobby stuff. What I’ve always wondered is why his team mates “voted him off the team”..and who instigated that vote? Can anybody shed some light other than pure speculation?

  • skotchie

    Prayers go out to his family. This is truly sad news.

  • iudawg

    Sad to hear about Reed. My thoughts go out to his family.

    I was an undergrad when he, Miller, and Patterson came to Bloomington. That dude could shoot. I remember the lady at Assembly Hall saying “Shoot it Reed. C’mon Patterson.”

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Lord rest your soul Neil. I always enjoyed your tenacity and toughness. You laid it on the line and proved what it meant to be a Hoosier. You will always be a Hoosier to me. My family’s prayers go out to his wife, children, in addition to other family and friends as well.

  • CreanFaithful

    Well said.

  • Indiana-Gene

    To this day I have never seen a college coach better than Bob Knight. From knowing the game and preparation and getting the most out of his kids. Knight did it the right way from a coaching standpoint. But the fact is ” Bob Knight got Bob Knight fired” Sad ending …

  • 888

    Collier,Reed, and Recker were 3 guys that transfered under weird circumstances. Two have died and 1 had a life changing auto accident. This is becoming very odd. My heart goes out to his wife and babys. My wife is my world and I couldnt bear losing her so i pray that God gives her peace. I agree that Neil was a victim of RMKs waining success. His downfall at IU is one of the most puzzeling things in sports history and this stuff is just adding to that mystery IMO. This is just so weird to me. Odd!!! Neil will always be a Hoosier to me. RIP Neil.

  • MillaRed

    I saw that too. The world is losing it”s sensitivity.

    Reed could shoot that three. I will never forget him playing with that crazy harness.

    His relationship with Knight is meaningless at this point. Way too young to pass. Sad story all around.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Wait, what?? Will Gladness died?? OMG… I had no idea he did.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Wait, what?? Will Gladness died?? OMG… I had no idea he did.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    A lot of people have said it: Hoosier fans have mixed opinions at best about Reed. But, no one’s dancing on his grave, and thank God for that. Regardless of what we thought of him, it’s still a tragedy that he died so young, and it’s most definitely a painful tragedy that he leaves behind a family with kids. No one wished him dead, or even anything remotely close to being as awful as death. We were just mad at him. That didn’t make him evil, of course, not even close. And I’m damn glad everyone so far has recognized that.

    The fact that he’s associated with a very negative era in IU baskeball is unfortunately unavoidable. In spite of that, I’m encouraged to see that people commenting with the understand that it’s still only a fraction of his life, and not the entirety of it. He was a human being. And despite departing, despite being such a negative part of the Indiana University basketball narrative, he *was* one of our players for some years, and he *was* a hard-nosed, high effort guy while he was here. So there are qualities there to praise, qualities the past cannot take away. But even if he didn’t have those, even if his actual playing time here wasn’t characterized by that, then it’s still a tragedy. It is so because he was still a father, a husband, and a person with the same love of family and (and love *from* family), the same feelings, the same emotions… the same characteristics we all share as human beings. It’s a tragedy because he’s still worth much as a human being. Regardless of his role in the history of IU sports.

    Some things are too important to diminish by viewing through the lens of fan dedication to a team. Human life is one of those things. A human life lived yet cut short is even more so.

  • jchitwood28

    Prayers go out to Neil Reed’s family, friends and his former teammates and the kids he coached. I never knew Neil but had some classes with him and he was just a quiet kid that got after it on the court. I will never forget the 1997 game against Michigan where he was raining 3’s and led the Hoosiers to a double OT win. The kid could play, he was a Hoosier and always will be a Hoosier. God Bless you and your family!

  • William

    It is entirely possible to lament the passing of Neil Reed, Collier, and Gladness, or any other former player that passes away regardless of thier age. I lost my Aunt Phyllis when I was 12 and she just turned 30 with three children of her own, so I can completely empathize with what the Reed family is going thru.
    With that said, calling anyone that defends Coach Knight despicable is ridiculous to say the least. RMK was a hot head that often demanded more out of players than they could give, but by far more former players will attest that he helped them in far more ways than improving their basketball game.
    I would hope Coach Knight reaches out to Neil’s widow to offer his sympathies, but I guess if he did that too would be considered despicable as well.

  • Bobby

    It’s not that they defend Coach Knight, it’s just the way they have done it. I have seen absolutely repulsive statements about Reed, almost all from zealots that worship Knight. Dancing on a young man’s grave because he was instrumental in getting a coach fired is despicable.

  • iunbears

    Neil Reed was great competitor never have felt any ill will towards him. bob knight is the horrible person who strangled Neil.