"He was arrested at 4:20 p.m. today in the 3200 block of Overland," Harding said. "He ended a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and he went back to the apartment to retrieve his belongings. They were thrown on the front porch and an argument erupted. He became angry and pushed her down to the floor."
Ben Howland was informed of the arrest about 90 minutes before the game, and he briefly told the team why Dragovic was absent before Friday's game.
"I found out about 6," Howland said. "He called me in the office. (He was arrested) for misdemeanor allegations of battery spousal or domestic violence. He and his girlfriend, Sofia (Larsson), live together and they're going through a breakup of that relationship. It's been unfortunate. I speak very highly of Sofia.
"She's a great kid. Nikola's a great kid. I'm sure it will be rectified. I'm very confident everything will be rectified shortly."
Larsson, 20, is a former member of UCLA's rowing team.
"It's very disappointing, obviously," Howland said. "I feel bad for Nikola, and I feel bad for his girlfriend."
In terms of what's next here is what CBH told the LAT:
No decision had been made about any team or school discipline.
"I'm going to wait for all the facts," Howland said.
This is not good news. We have to wait for all the facts but I am extremely disappointed that this kind of story is even in the news.
If the allegations against Dragovic turn out to be true at a minimum Coach Howland should consider a long term suspension if not kick him off the team.
This kind of story goes against one of the fundamentals that make up the identity of UCLA basketball prgoram built by Coach Howland that we are so proud of as alums and students. No matter what a player coached by Howland is never suppose to lose his poise under any circumstances and forget who he represents when he is off (and on) the court.
To say that this is an extremely disappointing development would be an understatement. Like I said if there is any merit to the charges of domestic abuse against Dragovic, I don't see why he should keep wearing the four letter uniform. Let's wait to see how the facts turn out to be in this disappointing story.
UPDATE (11/11)(N): Looks like CBH might be taking disciplinary action against Dragovic:
"We will discipline him internally," Howland said. "Some of it's been decided. I'm still getting more information."
However, the authorities are still reviewing the case and determining whether to file charges:
Also, spokesman Frank Mateljan said the city attorney's office received the case.
"We're reviewing whether to file charges," Mateljan said. "We're currently reviewing the case."
Mateljan added there was no time frame for when a decision on charges would be made. If Dragovic is charged with battery, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If charges are not filed against Dragovic and he is exonerated we will do everything we can to get the word out. However, if the facts turn out to be against him, he will need to be gone from this program. We will wait to see how this turns out in the long term.
For the short term though I still think Howland should suspend him indefinitely until his case is fully resolved.