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BETHLEHEM, PA. (AP) - Garrett Reid, the troubled 29-year-old son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday in a dorm room at the club’s Lehigh University training camp, where he spends most of his summers with his father.
Police said the death was not suspicious, and the cause was under investigation. The coach’s oldest son had a long history of drug problems, once admitting “I liked being a drug dealer” and went to prison for a heroin-fueled car crash.
“This is a very difficult situation for us all,” quarterback Michael Vick said following practice _ their first without their head coach in five years..
“There’s choices to be made when tragedy happens,” Lurie said, pausing to hold back tears. “You can become stronger and even more focused and learn from it and treat life as a challenge, or you can bow down. And Andy is somebody _ he said to me, `I’m going to hit that curveball and hit it out of the park’ _ and on the field and off the field. And that’s the message he wanted me to have.”
The police chief at Lehigh, Edward Shupp, said a 911 call was made at 7:20 a.m. about Reid, and that the 29-year-old was dead when a policeman arrived at the campus dormitory. The police and Northampton County coroner were investigating.
Shupp said “there were no suspicious activities.” Police didn’t return later telephone calls for comment, and didn’t say who found Garrett Reid or whether any clues to his death were found in his room.
Reid had been staying at the camp where he assisted the Eagles‘ strength coaches at camp in an unofficial capacity, a not-uncommon sort of role for NFL coaches’ sons. He was frequently seen on the sideline at practices and in the locker room after games. Many of the coaches and staff stay in the Lehigh dorms.
He seemed to have rebounded from a yearslong struggle with drug abuse that landed him in prison.
He was sentenced to nearly two years for a 2007 high-speed car crash while he was high on heroin that injured another driver. Police found heroin and more than 200 pills in his car. When he surrendered to begin his sentence, prison guards found Reid had tried to smuggle prescription pills into jail.
In the midst of his legal troubles, Reid said he “got a thrill” out of being a drug dealer in a lower-income neighborhood just a few miles from his parents’ suburban Villanova mansion.
“I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life,” Reid told a probation officer, according to court testimony in November 2007. “I could go anywhere in the `hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer.”
At his sentencing hearing, Reid told the judge: “I don’t want to die doing drugs. I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’d and just faded into oblivion.”
His younger brother, Britt, also had problems with drug use and was arrested on the same day as Garrett in 2007 for a road-rage encounter. Police discovered weapons and drugs in Britt Reid’s vehicle
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