Former Indiana Player Not Pleased

Wednesday, September 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Neil Reed, whose accusations played a part in Bob Knight's firing, takes no pleasure in the downfall of his former coach.

``Believe it or not, I'm not happy that Indiana fired Coach Knight,'' Reed told ESPN The Magazine.

``I don't have any feelings about it, mostly because I've had to stand alone for so long,'' Reed said. ``In a way, I've been proven right, but that doesn't make my life any easier.''

Reed, who transferred from Indiana in 1997, said Knight grabbed him by the throat during a practice. That accusation and others that followed led to a ``zero-tolerance'' policy imposed on Knight by the university in May.

After a student two weeks ago said Knight grabbed and berated him, Indiana president Myles Brand fired the Hall of Fame coach.

``It doesn't surprise me that he grabbed that kid's arm,'' Reed said in the current issue of the magazine. ``Coach Knight is always going to be Coach Knight. But did I want to see him screw up? Did I want to see Indiana basketball struggle? No way. ...

``I knew he would eventually do something like this to himself, but I didn't want to see Indiana suffer. I don't like to see anyone suffer, and I guess that includes Coach Knight.

Reed said he can empathize with Kent Harvey, the student who addressed Knight by his last name, prompting the coach to grab his arm and lecture him about manners. Harvey and Brand have received death threats since the firing Sept. 10.

``I know what he's going through. ... He won't be left alone. It's pretty intense,'' Reed said.

Reed is now a graduate student in mass communications at LSU. He said he recently was approached by a lawyer who suggested he sue Indiana.

``I couldn't do it,'' he said. ``In fact, I got sick when I thought about it. I don't want money from those people. I don't want anything.''

He also said he ``fell out of love'' with basketball.

``Maybe that was Coach Knight's fault and maybe it was partly my fault,'' he said. ``But if I can handle what I've been through, then I know I can handle what lies ahead.''