The drama continues down in Westwood for the 2-5 Bruins. Beleaguered head coach Ben Howland has decided to suspend the engimatic Reeves Nelson for the second time this season.
LOS ANGELES - UCLA Head Men's Basketball Coach Ben Howland announced today that he has suspended Reeves Nelson indefinitely.
Nelson, a junior forward, is being suspended for conduct unbecoming a member of the UCLA basketball team.
"This continues a trend of very disappointing behavior by Reeves," said Howland. "I personally have worked hard with him to illustrate the importance of the code of conduct for our student-athletes, as well as the ramifications for violating it. I am disappointed that he has continued to fall short of my expectations."
There is no specific timetable for the reevaluation of Nelson's status with the team.Nelson was suspended following the Bruins first game of the season - a loss to Loyola Marymount because of attitude issues.
Columnist T.J. Simers wonders why Howland just doesn't say goodbye to the talented but troubled forward.
Nice speech, but atop all the losses there's the feeling Howland's team might be getting away from him.
"No, it's not," Howland insists. "We're going to fix it."
Yet his two top players have done nothing so far but disappoint. In addition to Josh Smith taking the off-season off to eat away his effectiveness as a player, there were disturbing media reports over the weekend about Reeves Nelson.
Broadcasters and reporters noted that Nelson, suspended once already this season for his poor behavior, was sitting on the bench and laughing it up while his teammates were losing to Texas.
For a guy who likes to call timeouts as much as Howland does, what's stopping him now?
Why is Nelson still wearing a UCLA jersey?
As much of a control freak as Howland appears on the sideline, it appears his players do not share his intensity.
And that has to be troubling to Howland with pressure mounting on the basketball program now that football has been so disappointing.