SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A prominent figure in the downfall of former Indiana University men's basketball coach Bobby Knight has passed away.
Former Hoosier basketball player Neil Reed died early Thursday according to several media outlets.
The 36-year-old reportedly began to have trouble breathing early in the morning and was taken to an area hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
Reed became embroiled in controversy in Bloomington when he alleged then-Hoosiers coach Knight choked him at a practice in 1997.
Some backed Reed's assertion afterwards, but others disputed it. A video tape of the incident was later discovered in 2000 and that, along with another physical confrontation by Knight, this time involving an Indiana student, led to the famed coach's dismissal.
At the time of his death, Reed was coaching boy's basketball and golf at Pioneer Valley High School in California.
He was hired at the school in 2006 and became the boys basketball coach in 2009.
Reed was a McDonald's All-American at East Jefferson High School in East Metairie, La. and played for Indiana University from 1994-97.
After earning a degree in sports administration from Southern Mississippi, where he finished his collegiate career, Reed began working at ESPN. He later moved to California, where he earned his master's degree from Chapman University and his physical education teaching credential from there.
He leaves behind his wife, Kelly, and two daughters, Marley and Presley.