Originally posted on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 5/24/12

Remember that huge UCLA expose from Sports Illustrated that was going to rock Ben Howland's program to the core?  In spite of all the sordid details of the Bruins program spiraling out of control, not too much came from the report, at least from UCLA's perspective.  Howland has stayed with UCLA, the program hasn't been punished in any way by the NCAA, and UCLA only has the #1 recruiting class for 2012 according to ESPN's rankings.

Something else has finally come out of that piece by George Dohrmann though.  A lawsuit.  Former UCLA player Reeves Nelson is suing SI and Dohrmann for defamation because of his "starring" role in the article.  Nelson was cited for his violent acts during practice, being a "classic bully", disrespecting coaches, peeing on teammate's clothes, and ultimately being dismissed from the program in late 2011.  Now, Nelson is fighting back against the characterizations in the Sports Illustrated report and suing for $10 million.  Here's the news from Fox Sports...  

Former UCLA player Reeves Nelson is suing Sports Illustrated for $10 million, citing defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress over its recent article about problems in the school's basketball program.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Superior Court in Los Angeles names Time Inc. and writer George Dohrmann as defendants. The story titled ''Not the UCLA Way'' initially appeared Feb. 28 on the magazine's website and then in its March 5 print edition. Nelson also wants a retraction and public apology.

The lawsuit includes sworn statements from 18 current and former UCLA players, including Tyler Trapani, the great-grandson of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. They attest that the article's general description of Nelson as a ''psychotic bully'' is false and that specific instances of Nelson's alleged bullying described in the article never happened or were grossly distorted.

One element this lawsuit from Nelson has to overcome is the SI article explicitly stating that Nelson confirmed all the incidents in the article to SI.  That piece of the puzzle is a parenthetical statement in the Dohrmann report:  

(Nelson confirmed all these incidents to SI and expressed his regret, saying, "On all that stuff, I have no trouble admitting that I lost control of my emotions sometimes. I take responsibility for my actions. I'm really just trying to learn from the mistakes I made on all levels.")

There's another passage in the article where Nelson "did not deny" the allegations against him that he would specifically target individuals in practice situations, where many of the allegations of his violent behavior stem from:

Nelson often reacted to hard fouls or calls against him in practice by committing violent acts against teammates. He did not deny to SI that he would stalk his targets, even running across the court, away from a play, to hit someone.

Is it really plausible to consider a respected publication like Sports Illustrated making up these stories in some sort of vendetta to besmirch the name of Reeves Nelson?  What would Sports Illustrated have to gain from making up these anecdotes in a story that didn't really have much long-term traction in the first place?  According to his lawsuit, Nelson has players that back his side of the story.  However, if you want to take Nelson's side in this lawsuit, you have to not only dismiss the allegations, but the reported confirmation of the allegations.  I think I'll take my chances with Jonathan Vilma having a better chance to succeed with his lawsuit instead.

(Fox Sports)

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker