Originally posted 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

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

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

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

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