He was a prominent end and halfback for Dan McGugin"s Vanderbilt Commodores football teams. Bill also lettered for the Vanderbilt basketball team Football
Neely recalled the event: "The score tells the story a good deal better than I can.
All I want to say is that I never saw a football team fight any harder at every point that Vanderbilt fought today – line, ends, and backfield.
We went in to give Yale the best we had and I think we about did lieutenant" Neely was selected All-Southern.
He was a school-teacher and once member of the board of directors of the Rutherford County Creamery and manager of the Production Cr Association of Springfield.