UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland has suspended junior forward Reeves Nelson indefinitely for conduct unbecoming a member of the UCLA basketball team, the school announced in a statement Monday night.
Nelson did not show up for practice Monday, when the two were supposed to meet face to face, but Howland spoke to Nelson on the phone, according to a source familiar with the situation. Nelson's status with the team will be re-evaluated when the two meet face to face, but Nelson is not expected to attend UCLA's game against Middle Tennessee State Tuesday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, the school's statement said.
"This is a very disappointing situation for Reeves and our basketball program," Howland said in the statement. "We have a high standard and code of conduct that our student-athletes are expected to adhere to and Reeves has fallen short of our expectations."
Nelson, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last season and was an all-conference selection, appeared to be sulking during UCLA's season-opening loss to Loyola Marymount on Friday. He did not join the team in the timeout huddle on a couple of occasions and walked past teammates who were attempting to give him a high five walking off the court.
He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, but had only four points on two of four shooting in the first half while twins David and Travis Wear -- also forwards -- combined for 20 points on nine of 16 shooting in the first half.
Nelson has been a polarizing figure during his three-years with the Bruins, with the ability to take over games at times and the equal ability to disappear for long stretches. His mood swings were often cited for UCLA's inconsistent level of play last season.
Peter Yoon covers UCLA for ESPNLosAngeles.com.