Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 2/29/12

 

If you are a college basketball fan on any level I am sure you have already heard the breaking news regarding the coveted UCLA Basketball Program. As a current UCLA student and life-long Bruin fan, this news was very disheartening to hear. There have been rumors for several days now that Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann (Pulitzer Prize winner) was going to drop a bomb on us. Well, the anticipation is over and there’s nowhere to go but up from here.

I do not want to get too much into the details of what has happened to our program over the past several years but I will give you the take home points.  UCLA felt on top of the world when Howland took the team to three straight Final Four appearances. UCLA sent numerous players to the NBA during this time, and currently has the most active UCLA alumni on NBA rosters (15 I believe). But with all that, UCLA has failed to bring home another banner to Pauley Pavilion to hang up next to the 11 championship banners that John Wooden worked so hard to get. So basically, Ben Howland is rumored to have lost control of his players, allowing them to get too distracted to live up to their expectations on the court. The team has seen a number of highly recruited athletes transfer schools, in addition to players being suspended and kicked off the team for poor behavior.  Former forward Reeves Nelson seemed to be the root of much conflict as he has been sited for starting a number of on-court and off-court problems with teammates. His exit from the program looked to be the first step toward success, but UCLA is a disappointing 16 – 13, in a very weak Pac-12 conference. But, this is not the end of the most storied NCAA basketball program in the nation.

Now that the story is out, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has some decisions to make. The SI article puts much of the blame on Ben Howland and his inability to rightfully discipline his top athletes. Guerrero has already been scrutinized for UCLA football’s recent problems. It looked as if Jim Mora had to succeed with the football program if Guerrero expected to keep his job. But now with all this, there is a lot more added pressure. Dan needs to make a decision in regard to the basketball team quickly. If he is committed to Ben Howland with the highly recruited prospects that have already signed letters to play for UCLA, he needs to make sure the system gets improved. A line needs to be drawn and there needs to be a strict line of respect between players and coaches.

UCLA has never had a recruiting problem for basketball. Young stars across the nation want to come to UCLA and attempt to live up to past legacies that have been established in this fine university.  Even if UCLA was hit with a tsunami (as it seems like it has), these problems needed to be addressed and now they forcefully will have to be resolved.  All eyes will be on Ben Howland to see how he reacts to such a disappointing story. But, as a student and die-hard fan, I see this as the rock bottom. The program will obviously have a tough rest of the season, and potentially another one next year, but I can guarantee there will be a different attitude in the locker room. Players will better understand what is expected of them and hopefully Howland will better discipline those who blatantly break rules.

I am not saying I completely agree with the way George Dorhmann wrote this article. The problems described should not be viewed as a scandal, rather common issues that most sports programs across the country face. Yes athletes need to be held to higher standards, but they are still college students who need time off from sports to enjoy their free time. College athletes drink and smoke weed. They always have and they always will. I think Howland can fix this problem and get the team back on track so they can finally live up to their expectations. If you are a UCLA fan, don’t freak out. The article may have been frustrating to read but what happened is in the past and the only thing to do is more forward.

-Nordon

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

The most patriotic uniforms in American sports

Jeanie Buss: Brother Jim will step down if Lakers don't make deep run within two seasons

DeAndre Jordan to Dallas: The Los Angeles Clippers are literally mad men

Remember when the Cincinnati Bearcats were the scariest team in America?

Are the Angels now the worst organization in baseball?

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

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

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.