| DIED |
At 36 of heart complications, former Indiana basketball guard Neil Reed. A top high school recruit from Louisiana, Reed spent three years with the Hoosiers before transferring to Southern Mississippi and later played a year professionally in Europe, but he is best known as the player whom Indiana coach Bob Knight choked during a practice in 1997. Reed (above) left the team at the end of that season (he was voted off by teammates) and kept silent about the incident until March 2000, when he went public with his accusation. A tape of the practice, broadcast by CNN/SI later that year, backed Reed's claim, and Indiana established a zero-tolerance policy for Knight, who was fired that September after another IU student accused the coach of grabbing his arm. "Believe it or not, I'm not happy that Indiana fired Coach Knight," Reed said at the time. "In a way I've been proven right, but that doesn't make my life any easier." Reed later coached high school basketball, football and golf.
| ABDUCTED |
By an armed man, and then returned unharmed nearly 24 hours later, Violet Ripken, the mother of former Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. According to a police statement, a man with a gun forced the 74-year-old Ripken (right) into her car outside of her Aberdeen, Md., home between 7 and 8 a.m. on July 24 and drove off. He then tied her hands and drove around for several hours, occasionally stopping to use her credit cards to buy gas, before leaving her unharmed the next morning near her home, where she was discovered by a neighbor. Officials confirmed that her credit cards had been used, but they received no ransom demands. According to Violet, her abductor did not mention or seem to know of her connection to her Hall of Fame son. Police have released a surveillance photo of the suspect but as of Monday held no one in custody.
| DIED |
In a shooting on the South Side of Chicago last Thursday night, 6'7" Iona basketball recruit Michael Haynes, who witnesses say was trying to break up a fight when he was shot in the wrist, chest and lower back. Haynes, 22, committed to UTEP in 2010 before transferring to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa; he was planning to move to Iona, in New Rochelle, N.Y., later this week. "He wanted to get out of Chicago as soon as possible," says Iona assistant Jared Grasso, who recruited him. "He just wanted an opportunity." As of Monday, police did not have a suspect in custody, but they are holding Haynes's younger brother, 21-year-old Brian, who is charged with breaking into a nearby house four hours after Michael's death and threatening four people. Police have not said whether the events are connected.
| DIED |
At 25 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, Titans wide receiver O.J. Murdock. Police found Murdock in his car, which was parked in front of Middleton (Fla.) High School, where he starred as a teenager, around 8:30 a.m. on Monday and transported him in critical condition to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead roughly two hours later. Murdock (right) signed with the Titans in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Division II Fort Hays State, where he had transferred after two years at South Carolina. He missed all of last season due to an Achilles tendon injury and was excused from training camp this week for personal reasons. He had been expected to report to camp last Saturday. In '10, Murdock's South Carolina teammate Kenny McKinley committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
| DIED |
At 53 when the twin-engine plane that he was piloting out of Sedona, Ariz., crashed on takeoff, former Olympic distance runner Pat Porter, along with his 15-year-old son, Connor, and Connor's 14-year-old classmate, Connor Mantsch. Unrecruited after having started running in high school, Porter ended up at tiny Adams State in Colorado, where he met coach Joe Vigil and honed the toughness for which he would become famous. Porter went on to become a two-time Olympian in the 10,000 meters, in 1984 (he finished 15th) and '88 (23rd), but his real love was cross-country: With his long, elegant stride and front-running style, he captured a record eight straight TAC (the precursor to USATF) national cross-country titles, from '82 through '89, never trailing past the two-mile mark. Connor Porter had finished third in D-III men's foil at the 2012 USA Fencing national championships in July.