UCLA: Matt DeMarcus

Players reject SI allegations against Nelson

May, 23, 2012
Former UCLA player Reeves Nelson filed a lawsuit against Sports Illustrated and reporter George Dohrmann Wednesday and the suit includes declarations from 18 current and former UCLA players who reject various claims made in a March Sports Illustrated article that depicted Nelson as a boorish player with a propensity for violence and out-of-control behavior.

Some, such as Drew Grodon, and Tyler Trapani, were alleged victims of Nelson's violent antics who said Nelson never did to them what the Sports Illustrated story said. Others, such as Blake Arnet and Alex Schrempf, said they spoke with Dohrmann and told him the information he had was incorrect only to see it end up in print anyway.

All of them disagreed with the Sports Illustrated depiction of Nelson as a player who intentionally injured teammates and was coddled by coach Ben Howland, who turned a blind eye to Nelson's transgressions.

"I never saw Nelson intentionally hurt or intentionally try to hurt any member of the UCLA basketball team or staff, nor do I believe that Nelson ever intentionally hurt or tried to hurt any member of the UCLA basketball team or staff," reads a passage in each of the 18 declarations. "I did not observe and do not believe that Coach Howland favored Nelson over the other players in any fashion, not with respect to discipline or anything else."

Some players addressed specific incidents alleged in the article. Gordon, for instance, was reported to have gotten into an off-campus fight with Nelson that resulted in a black eye for Gordon, but Gordon's declaration stated "The article’s description of Nelson’s behavior toward me is false. We have never had a fight, not at a teammate’s apartment or anywhere else, nor has Nelson ever given me a black eye from a fight or otherwise."

The Sports Illustrated story also reported that Schrempf, a former UCLA walk-on, suffered a serious back injury as a result of a Nelson attack during practice. Schrempf's declaration said that never happened. In his declaration, Schrempf acknowledged speaking with Dohrmann but told Dohrmann his facts were wrong.

"During our conversation, Dohrmann specifically told me that he had 'heard' that Nelson intentionally injured me during practice by knocking me to the ground from behind," Schrempf's statement says. "According to Dohrmann’s 'source,' Nelson’s conduct caused me to suffer a serious back injury. I explained to Dohrmann that this version of events was incorrect."

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Deep Three: Now you see them...

February, 12, 2011
We go beyond the arc following UCLA's 69-61 win against Oregon State on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion:


Coach Ben Howland wanted to give his non-scholarship players a minute of playing time. He really did.

And when Howland emptied his bench -- with UCLA up 16 and less than a minute remaining -- it looked like student-section favorites Blake Arnet, Matt DeMarcus, Alex Schrempf and Tyler Trapani would be the ones dribbling out the clock. Oregon State kept its full-court press, though, blitzing the walk-ons and cutting the deficit to single digits.

Howland just couldn't risk it and brought back his starters 15 seconds after they had received a standing ovation from the Pauley crowd.

"We turned it over twice, immediately," Howland said. "I didn't want to take them out, but I obviously didn't want to lose the game. Those kids come every day and give us a good effort."

Said Tyler Honeycutt: "I was glad that we could get them in. It was the first time all year. I was excited for them, but the next thing you know, coach called us in and it was almost kind of funny. The crowd was laughing because it all happened fast. They weren't really prepared to play and I'm sure they will be next time when they get their chance."


UCLA continues to whack Oregon State. The Bruins extended their win streak against the Beavers to 13 games, which is the longest active winning streak by a Pac-10 team against another Pac-10 team. Howland is 15-3 all-time against Oregon State and a perfect 8-0 at home.

Howland has taken criticism for his team's inability to put opponents away this season, but he made sure to point out that UCLA has a 17-0 record when holding a lead of at least 10 points. The Bruins led by as many as 18 in the first half but saw it cut to five at the break. They led by 22 midway through the second half before Oregon State chipped its way back.




B. Hundley392271315522
P. Perkins25115756.39
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