Nelson, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, had been suspended indefinitely for conduct unbecoming a member of the basketball team. It was his second suspension this season.
"After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson from the UCLA men's basketball team effective immediately," Howland said in a release. "This decision is not one that I take lightly but it is in the best interest of both the program and the student-athlete."
Nelson led UCLA with game averages of 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds last season. In six games this year, he was averaging 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.