Howland conference call about Nelson dismissal

UCLA head coach Ben Howland on the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson:
“This hopefully, for his sake, is going to be something that is real, something that is going to have a drastic effect on him if he doesn’t behave appropriately and fit in. He’s going to have to make some choices and I’m hoping that by the severity of this he can learn from it.”

On making the decision now:
“I didn’t want to turn this into a thing where this was the focus. For the best interest of the program and of the team and of UCLA basketball, I felt it was most appropriate to make this decision going forward.”

On where the team goes from here:
“Honestly I think it will be a positive for our team. The distraction of all this has not been a positive. The negativity is not a positive for a team. When I suspended him the first time, the two practices we had after that were the best this year that we’ve had. Hopefully this is going to be a unifying thing.”

On how he feels he handled the situation:
“Hindsight is always 20-20. If I had been a professional basketball coach, he probably would’ve been dismissed earlier. Reeves is actually a kid who just turned 20 this summer, started college early at 17, and this is education. We’re trying to help kids grow and mature and I’m one that’s an optimist and wants to hope and believe and try to help kids grow and improve. It came to a point where it was too much of a negative and a distraction.”

On discussions with Nelson’s parents:
“I spoke to both his mom and dad this week and this morning. It’s really hard.”

On his future with Nelson:
“I’m not going to stop trying to help him. I’m going to keep trying to help him, advise him, communicate with him about his future. This doesn’t end my relationship with Reeves Nelson. My relationship with Reeves will continue.”

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  • MichaelRyerson

    This is a real shame. Look, no one out here in blogland can see all that was going on with Reeves, the other players and Coach Howland, so we can’t really have much of an informed opinion about what brought them to this resolution. But this is a terrible crossroads for Reeves and we can only hope he recognises how quickly things can get away from him. This is/was an enormous opportunity wasted. I hope he goes in a positive direction. I felt the same way about Stan Hasiak.

  • Anonymous

    One thing that would make everybody happy is a statement of “Howland has been dismissed as UCLA basketball coach.” The players, the fans, and now the alumni are tired of your unproductive program. Your offense is boring every year, can’t seem to score. Your players leave like there’s a famine at UCLA. How many 4 stars and 5 stars do you have on your team and you can’t beat MTSU and LMU with no star players? You can recruit, coach, or win. It is time to leave.

  • I expect we’re more likely to see Reeves on an upcoming episode of Cops, than in the NBA. Sorry to see it turn so bad–I was a fan of his.

  • deja vu

    Just an incredibly sad story. So sorry it came to this, and wishing Reeves all the best. Despite the issues, he will be missed.

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone else afraid Reeves might go Columbine/Virginia Tech on Howland?

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone else afraid that Nelson will go Columbine/Virginia Tech on Howland?

  • MichaelRyerson

    The stupidity and senseless rancor of some of the commentors never ceases to amaze me. pitiful.

  • Anonymous

    1) Reeves’s problems must have been severe for Howland to dismiss his best player.

    2) The anonymous above drooling for Howland’s dismissal must be Tydides, since he posts what Nestor might, but without multiple grammatical errors.

    3) If that is Tydides, how can he type with Nestor’s posterior in his field of vision?

  • Bellomicrophone

    Stop disrespecting Bruins Nation. We are busy finalizing UCLA’s head football coach search strategy and plans as well as mining for new nicknames.

  • Bruin Gold

    All you have to do is to look at all of the tattoos he has on his body.

    This should warn you that you are dealing with a person who has been traumatized in his life. This is a person with enormous amounts of pitch-black anger. This is a person who has serious psychological problems. This is a person who has poorly developed skills in coping with the world. This is a person who probably has significant self-destructive behavior and a warped view of the world.

    Tattoos are a sign of deep trouble.
    Piercings are even worse.
    The more of these, the worse off the person is.

    These are all external advertisements of mental illness.