Neil Reed started 72 games and averaged just under 10 points a game for Indiana from 1994-97, but he decided to transfer to Southern Mississippi before the start of his senior season. Not much was made of Reid's decision simply because players regularly transferred out of Indiana, where dictatorial Bob Knight was holding court.
But in 2000, cable network CNN/Sports Illustrated aired a tape of an encounter between Reed and Knight. The grainy practice video showed Knight grabbing Reed by the neck, although the coach has maintained he merely put his hand on Reed's chest.
It was the beginning of the end for Knight at Indiana, who was fired later that year by university president Myles Brand.
But while Knight was able to rehabilitate his reputation (later coaching at Texas Tech and then joining ESPN), Reed has bounced around after earning his undergraduate degree in Sports Administration from Southern Mississippi. He interned at ESPN Magazine, got a Masters degree from Chapman and a teaching credential.
Last week, he was named boys basketball coach at Pioneer Valley High in Central California, a team that won only one game in the PAC-7 league last season. But Reid is ready for the challenge and wants to be known for something other than the encounter with Knight.
"Definitely, time has put a little distance [from the incident]. That's been good," he told Kenny Cress of the Santa Maria Times.
"Any time you can play at that level, it's a tremendous experience, doing that kind of learning. At Indiana, you had anywhere between 13-17 [team] managers, and a lot of those managers have coaching careers. Lawrence Frank, the coach of the [New Jersey] Nets, was a manager at Indiana. Joe Pasternack, several of those guys had great careers.
"Indiana had a very academic, so to speak, approach to basketball."