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Reed Fires Back at Knight

March 19, 1997|Associated Press

Indiana guard Neil Reed said he won't return for his senior season because Coach Bob Knight pressured him to leave. "If the choice were mine, I would have returned to Indiana University," Reed said in a statement. "But the choice was not mine. Coach Knight has made it clear that in making those decisions about my future, he is accountable to no one."

Knight told Indianapolis television stations that he met with Reed and three other juniors, Andrae Patterson, Richard Mandeville and Robbie Eggers, to discuss their futures with the program. He said all four players were told what was expected of them next season, and each was given an option to play elsewhere.

"What I want is for this to work out for these kids the best way possible," Knight said. "I've told them in each case what I think, and they've thought it over and have told us what they would like to do, and we'll just take that and go from there."

Knight criticized Reed, Patterson, Eggers, Mandeville and Charlie Miller for inconsistent play this season and questioned their dedication to the program. But Reed, who started 26 of 33 games, said he was singled out for criticism.

"Coach Knight has created a different set of rules for me," said Reed, who averaged 12.9 points and led the Big Ten in free-throw percentage [85.2] this season. "Leadership requires respect. I have not been given any respect for three years. . . .

"Coach Knight has continued his longstanding tradition of verbal attacks and physical assaults on his players and his coaches. I have personally been at the forefront of those focused attacks during my time at IU."

After Indiana's loss to Colorado, which ended a disappointing 22-11 season for the Hoosiers, Reed said Knight met with him and two other juniors.

"Coach Knight told us, 'I think you guys should transfer because you are not going to play here next here,"' said Reed, who hasn't officially asked for a transfer yet.

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Authorities raided a $160-million-a-year gambling operation in New York and Philadelphia and arrested 25 people, timing the sweep to coincide with heavy betting on the NCAA basketball tournament.

The raids, code-named Slam Dunk, targeted "the mob's cash cow, illegal sports betting," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said.

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Tommy Amaker, part of Duke's run of seven Final Four appearances over nine years as a player and an assistant coach, was hired as the Seton Hall coach. Amaker, 31, replaced George Blaney, 57, who was fired earlier this month after compiling a 38-48 record over three seasons, including 10-18 this year.

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Mississippi Coach Rob Evans, considered to be one of the two top candidates to replace Dale Brown at Louisiana State, visited the school for a second interview with Athletic Director Joe Dean. But Evans is also considering Ohio State and Tennessee, and reportedly is leaning toward Tennessee. The other top candidate for the LSU job is Samford Coach John Brady.

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Eddie Fogler, pursued by Ohio State and Rutgers after guiding South Carolina to its best basketball season in a quarter-century, got a $100,000 raise to stay with the Gamecocks. Folger's salary will get a $10,000 boost to $130,000, with another $90,000 coming from radio and TV revenues.

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