by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
The once proud basketball program of UCLA has become one riddled with drugs, fighting and no discipline, according to a story in Sports Illustrated.
Under head coach Ben Howland, players have reportedly done things from taking Ecstasy to berating assistant coaches. Physical attacks on players during practice have occurred and many once-heralded recruits have transferred out of the program.
Several of the incidents focus on former player Reeves Nelson, who was kicked off the team earlier this season. Perhaps most disturbing was an alleged incident he had with his former teammate, Tyler Honeycutt, who Nelson suspected told Howland of plans the team had to stay out late for New Year’s Eve.
A short time later, Nelson returned home from a night of partying, piled Honeycutt’s clothes on Honeycutt’s bed, and then urinated on the clothes and flipped the bed over. When asked by SI about the incident, Nelson said, “I would dispute that that is exactly what happened, but I understand people would say that is what happened. But I think, most of all, you should know that Tyler and I are still friends.”
It didn’t appear that Nelson was punished for the incident, but players say that Honeycutt was given his own single dorm room. (Through his agent, Honeycutt declined to comment.)
Barring a miracle run through the Pac-12 tournament, UCLA is poised to miss the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons.