Well, the inevitable has finally happened and Reeves Nelson has kicked off the team at UCLA. Can't really say that anyone is surprised this, including Nelson.
"After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson from the UCLA men's basketball team effective immediately," Howland said in a statement.
Both suspensions this season had come because of insubordinate behavior. In what turned out to be his final game for UCLA last Saturday, a 69-59 loss to Texas, Nelson spent the entire second half on the bench and was seen laughing and pointing to a small group of people in the crowd at the Sports Arena that was chanting his name near the end of the game.
Tuesday, a day after Nelson was suspended for the second time, Howland said there were defined things Nelson needed to do to begin practicing and playing again.
"He needs to stay consistent," Howland said. "The last time he was suspended, when we did bring him back, he had the best practice the first practice, the first day back. Last week’s practices, he was falling back into the same habits.
"It's definitely a distraction and we don’t need any distractions. It’s tough enough to come together without being distracted. It’s a tough situation with them (the team) because many of them are close friends with Reeves off the floor."Will it be addition by subtraction? Who knows. When he's motivated, he's a damn good player. But his mood swings on the court made life miserable for a miserably inconsistent basketball team.
I hope the kid figures it out. He's got some talent and he could be flushing away his future. Of course, some team will take a chance on him.
Down in Tempe, freshman Jahii Carson, who was expected to step in and be a factor for the Sun Devils, but hadn't yet been cleared by the NCAA, won't play this season. He's been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
The NCAA's Eligibility Center will allow Carson to practice this year, but he will enter next season as a sophomore. Carson will have a chance to earn back the lost season of eligibility as long as he makes enough progress to graduate within a certain period.
Friday's decision marked the end of a long journey. Carson's previous ACT score and core course GPA did not meet the NCAA's sliding scale for initial academic eligibility. He again took the ACT, but the score took weeks to post. ASU recently learned Carson came up just short on the test. The school appealed, but the effort was denied.Down in Salt Lake City, Josh "Jiggy" Watkins has returned to the Utah Utes after being suspended for a game because he was late to a practice. He was very remorseful over his mistake.
"I couldn’t be more mad that I wasn’t out there and I let my guys down," Watkins said. "I’m just grateful to be back and just contribute to the team."