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UCLA Basketball 2011: Reeves Nelson Dismissed From Bruins Basketball Program

The UCLA basketball program has officially dismissed troubled star Reeves Nelson from the team, according to Coach Ben Howland on Friday.

Reeves was UCLA’s top scorer and rebounder last season, and has even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, but now is no longer with the Bruins basketball program after multiple suspensions and problems with the team.

The 6-foot-9 junior out of Modesto was serving his second suspension of the season when he met with coach Howland after finishing his final exams Friday, which was when coach had to pull the trigger on his difficult decision.

“After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson from the UCLA men’s basketball team effective immediately.”

Reeves’ delinquent behavior was the source of both of his suspensions this season, including missing the flight for the Maui Invitational earlier this year. Reeves wound up spending the second half on the pine in his final game for UCLA last Saturday, a 69-59 loss to Texas. Nelson was spotted laughing and pointing to a group of fans at the Sports Arena that were chanting his name, not showing much support for his team along the way.

“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.”

The 2-5 Bruins take on Penn in its next game on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Honda Center.

For more on UCLA basketball, head over to Bruins Nation.