LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former UCLA player Reeves Nelson is suing Sports Illustrated for 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.
The lawsuit includes sworn statements from 18 former teammates of Nelson’s, 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.
Nelson was dismissed from the team last December by coach Ben Howland after twice being suspended for insubordinate behavior during the season.