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Reeves Nelson suspended indefinitely from UCLA basketball team

December 6, 2011 | 10:45 am

Reeves Nelson, UCLA's leading scorer and rebounder last season, has been suspended for the second time this season, basketball coach Ben Howland announced in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Nelson, a 6-8 junior forward,  had already served a suspension last month for insubordinate behavior. Since then, he missed the team plane to Hawaii, where the Bruins played in the Maui Classic, and was seen during last Saturday’s loss to Texas pointing to, and laughing with, fans in the stands who were chanting his name.

Nelson, who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's West Coast version of its college basketball issue, played only 12 minutes in the 69-59 loss to Texas at the Sports Arena -- none in the second half -- and was scoreless.

The Bruins (2-5) are off until they host Penn on Saturday at the Honda Center.

This suspension, according to the UCLA statement, is for conduct unbecoming a member of the UCLA basketball team.

“This continues a trend of very disappointing behavior by Reeves,” Howland said in the statement. “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. Howland has a regularly scheduled weekly media conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

On Monday, Howland spoke to Times columnist T.J. Simers and said he had made mistakes in his handling of Nelson; Howland seemed particularly displeased with Nelson's behavior on the bench Saturday.

Nelson, very active on Twitter, had only one tweet this morning, saying, "8 AM final this morning. Yippeeeee."


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Photo: Reeves Nelson. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images