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LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #1 
I've always thought that UCLA Men's basketball coach, Ben Howland, was a fine coach.  There has been some drama, to be sure, but there seems to be drama at every D1 team in every sport so I didn't think much of it.  This Sports Illustrated article, which came out today, shows an entirely different level of drama.  It's HIGH drama.  

After reading it I can appreciate the experience that my daughter had at LMU that much more.  Once you read it, see if you don't feel the same about your school.

Disclaimer:  I'm a huge UCLA basketball fan.  I did my best to read the article and try to minimize the bad and the ugly.  That seems to be the common thread on the UCLA forums, to minimize the damage.  Unfortunately, I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If my daughter were being recruited to a team and I saw this article about the coach then I'd have to say that this school would be crossed off the list.  This has got to hurt recruiting.  Every opponent will be buying dozens of Sports Illustrated this month and handing them to every recruit saying, "Is that what you want?"

cyberfox

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 3,565
Reply with quote  #2 
I agree.  It is the coach.  And, if the mama has more influence than the posse the coach will win out almost every time.
CalRoxMySox44

Registered: 05/26/05
Posts: 3,189
Reply with quote  #3 
Good read! Thanks for posting
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cyberfox

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 3,565
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indyrun

cyber - but it's also the AD. Seems Howland is let loose to do what he damn well pleases. Who has ultimate responsibility over the coaches, if not the AD?


Ultimately it is the president but most folks only see the coach not the prez or AD.  Bama has had some embarrassments with coaches (strippers rolling with the Tide) and the prez took care of it.  If the AD won't do it then it his job to do.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #5 
UCLA AD Dan Guerrero: "One thing we probably have followed short of is area of bullying. That's very concerning. As a result of particular situation, we'll be looking to add that to our student-development program."

"We'll go through rest of the season - two games this week, Pac-12 Tournament - and then we'll sit down and talk about situation. The article certainly raised some issues, but we're aware of many issues as well.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #6 
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.

jayrot

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 12,541
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?
oldschool

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 398
Reply with quote  #8 
Just saw it on the news right now, Howland is done and now we'll see damage control. News crews are all over the school now and it's a PR nightmare. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of this with other sports at UCLA. 
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The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary. Go Bruins!!!!!!
DunninLA

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 4,241
Reply with quote  #9 
I cannot find confirmation of this anywhere... not by googling anyway, or visiting the LA Times website.

Is Howland's resignation/firing confirmed?

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LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?


I suspect the opposite will be true.  There will be a cleansing and every sport will get under the microscope to make sure that this lax attitude isn't going to pop up and bite them from the other sports.  If I were a coach, other than Mora and Scates, I'd be nervous at this time.

Geez, the players were taking Ecstasy during conference season, for goodness sake!  I can see all players in all sports suddenly being drug tested.  Maybe frequently.

When the premier revenue sport explodes the ripple effect is felt throughout the entire athletic department.  This may be Guerrero's Little BigHorn.
cyberfox

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 3,565
Reply with quote  #11 
While this is exciting in the SOCAL area it is not uncommon.  Recall the 4 TCU football players  arrested for dealing.  We are talking Fort Worth here, not LA.  Athletes (not softball) often come from backgrounds where drugs and gangland activity is not uncommon.  Alabama and other schools use motivation speakers as well as instruction in behavior, financial management, treatment of people that may take the place of parental instruction they did not receive.

This of course is to keep them in school and performing to bring in the money for the athletic programs.  It is a big money business after all at this level.  Interestingly, one does not get many softball and gymnastics from these backgrounds.  I guess it is the socio economic status difference.
olddsbfan

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #12 
After reading the article, it makes me appreciate that even the big schools go through similar experiences that my girl went through in softball, hers maybe even worse from the stories I heard.
That is what happens when the coach is uninvolved. Many believe that it is not part of their job to look out for their players socially, emotionally, academically and physically.  As a parent sending a teenage girl away to school, I hoped for more involvment, guidance, etc. And for that matter, if the goal is to win games, then why not get involved and help the team be a team.
justamom2

Registered: 04/19/11
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #13 

Bulling does happen in other schools and girls are the worst. The coaches do nothing and so it continues...It's the good kids that gets screwed. Just sayin...

oldschool

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 398
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamom2

Bulling does happen in other schools and girls are the worst. The coaches do nothing and so it continues...It's the good kids that gets screwed. Just sayin...

+1

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The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary. Go Bruins!!!!!!
olddsbfan

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #15 

Justamom2, I'm with you.

Lovemesomesoftball

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 5,684
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?


No ..this is nothing new for many in the UCLA community.  The problem was how to expose it without destroying the athletic program. People know there are a few coaches at the school who run a similar game as Howland. Those coaches have been protected. In fact in one sport (women's track) assistant coaches who stood up to Jeanette lost their job. Come after me all you want homers, Eric Peterson is and always will be a friend of mine and he was a casualty because of this b.s.

Also this is not limited to UCLA it stretches across the country and in many programs. Let's consider a coach who is also a  professor and his sister is the athletic director. Want to know how much crap is going on there.......
olddsbfan

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #17 

No this is not limited to UCLA, my experience. There are worse things kept secret going on at other schools. Not just bullying, drugs and alcohol, but other serious NCAA rule infractions such as changing of grades to make players eligable, and playing players with serious injuries.

Lovemesomesoftball

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 5,684
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?


I suspect the opposite will be true.  There will be a cleansing and every sport will get under the microscope to make sure that this lax attitude isn't going to pop up and bite them from the other sports.  If I were a coach, other than Mora and Scates, I'd be nervous at this time.

Geez, the players were taking Ecstasy during conference season, for goodness sake!  I can see all players in all sports suddenly being drug tested.  Maybe frequently.

When the premier revenue sport explodes the ripple effect is felt throughout the entire athletic department.  This may be Guerrero's Little BigHorn.


I would say Ms. Val, being a great teacher, well respected in the community, loved by her players as well as fans and alums is safe. After that.......RUN!!!

LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #19 
And, from the kick-them-while-they're-down department, UCLA's top recruit may not be an amateur says the NCAA.... (link)

Maybe USC will get him.
Lovemesomesoftball

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 5,684
Reply with quote  #20 
http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/02/29/pac-12-basketball-ratings-was-a-ucla-story-published-somewhere-recently/


Pac-12 basketball ratings: Was a UCLA story published somewhere recently?

If you haven’t heard, Sports Illustrated published a lengthy account — by  Pulitzer Prize-winner George Dohrmann — of the behind-the-scenes problems at UCLA.

Eight thoughts (in honor of the 8-clap):

1. If you follow the Bruins closely, the piece probably confirms your suspicions:

Ben Howland isn’t exactly a players’ coach, Drew Gordon wasn’t exactly the most mature kid to ever enter college, and Reeves Nelson was (is?) a bad guy who was poorly handled by Howland.

But I doubt there’s much in the story that comes as a shock to UCLA fans.

2. If you don’t follow the Bruins closely, however, then your reaction will probably be: Wow!

3. As far as the partying and drug/alcohol use …

Having covered UCLA during the Harrick and Lavin eras, I’d say the actions depicted in the story qualify as, well, amateur hour.

I’d love Dohrmann to publish a prequel based on the Jelani/JaRon era.

4. Far more significant is the detailed portrayal of Howland’s management of his program, which leaves much to be desired.

5. As I’ve noted before on the Hotline, the departure of assistant Kerry Keating in the spring of 2007 was a hugely significant yet underplayed component to UCLA’s demise.

Keating was Howland’s best recruiter (Collison, Westbrook, etc.) and helped manage player relations.

6. (Also something I’ve touched on before The L.A. scene makes oversight of athletes at UCLA and USC much more difficult than at other schools.

No other BCS-level campuses are a short drive to Hollywood and the Playboy Mansion.

7. Near the top of the list of Howland’s mistakes in recent years: Lack of research into the character of his recruits.

(Also near the top: Not offering a scholarship to Derrick Williams.)

8. I can’t help but wonder what impact the botched football hires (Dorrell, Neuheisel) will have on athletic director Dan Guerrero’s handling of the basketball situation.

Ratings will be posted later today …

* Follow me @WilnerHotline on Twitter.

olddsbfan

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #21 
LMSS- Management being the key word... It seems that head coaches don't take responsibility for the entire management of the team, from academics to injury to emotional to social. My experience is that they delegate, or don't involve themselves at all.
This is not just a UCLA thing, and I was not surprised at the story. 
And there are many many ways to get in trouble at MOST (not just in LA)schools, when players are looking for them and when there are no checks and balances and consequences.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #22 
Olddsbfan,

You're on the right track about management.  I've been in in senior executive management for over 30 years.  It is my belief, and the belief of most in management, that the number one job of any manager is to get the right people.  Period.  There's nothing I do that's more important.  That doesn't mean I hire the best talent it means I hire the best people that will work with the organization we've created.  The second most important job is to mentor those I hire.  This means getting them to work with their associates and within the limitations that we have as an organization.  It means I give them the tools and skills to thrive and excel.  I've often said that I hire the personality, once on board I can get them the skills.  

This is true with coaches also.  The number one job of every coach is to get the right people.  This applies to both the coaching staff AND the players. 

Ben Howland did this properly early in his career at UCLA.  He has a very strict and methodical way of coaching.  It requires hard work and discipline.  Those that work within the limitations of his organization will thrive.  There are clear examples.  Players like Darrin Collison, Russell Westbrook, etc. were relatively unknown but through Howland's mentoring and hard work they excelled.

In Howland's early days he didn't get stars.  He made stars.  UCLA wasn't the draw it once was and he had to create players that had the desire but not the fame. 

That worked.  It worked too well.  He went to 3 final fours with those no-name players that became well known names.  That opened the recruiting door.  Howland now had access to top ten recruits.  And, he signed top ten recruits.  Unfortunately, he started getting prima donnas, players that had amazing talent but didn't have to work hard.  They didn't like the Howland system.  Working hard was new to them and it rubbed them the wrong way. They got pissed and let everyone know it.  They didn't fit in.

For Howland to be successful he needs to recruit strong, talented role players.  He needs to get the Collisons and Westbrooks back on this team.  He needs to forget the one-and-done players and get players that he can develop over 4 years.  This is his path to success.

He has forgotten job one: Getting the right people in the program.  And, in my opinion, that has been his downfall.

LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #23 
To put things into perspective a BruinZone poster said this:


SI sent one of its best "investigative reporters" to do an expose on UCLA Basketball -- and sicked him on Howland and everyone else for about a couple of months.

What did he find?

1. Partying by kids
2. Reeves Nelson is (allegedly) a bad kid

What didn't he find?

1. NCAA infractions
2. NCAA infractions
3. NCAA infractions

What Dohrmann should have written about?

1. Why UCLA sucked for the past 3 years.
2. Why UCLA sucked for the past 3 years.
3. And why UCLA sucked for the past 3 years.

 

The post is really true.  There's really no scandal here.  A Pulitzer Prize winner couldn't find any wrongdoings.  The program is clean. 

What Ben Howland didn't do is win a national championship and, in the eyes of many UCLA fans, that's a scandal worthy of hanging.  He's taken his team to three consecutive final fours.  That's pretty elite company.  Look at the coach at your favorite school and you can bet he wishes he had that on his resume.



jayrot

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 12,541
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemesomesoftball
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?


I suspect the opposite will be true.  There will be a cleansing and every sport will get under the microscope to make sure that this lax attitude isn't going to pop up and bite them from the other sports.  If I were a coach, other than Mora and Scates, I'd be nervous at this time.

Geez, the players were taking Ecstasy during conference season, for goodness sake!  I can see all players in all sports suddenly being drug tested.  Maybe frequently.

When the premier revenue sport explodes the ripple effect is felt throughout the entire athletic department.  This may be Guerrero's Little BigHorn.


I would say Ms. Val, being a great teacher, well respected in the community, loved by her players as well as fans and alums is safe. After that.......RUN!!!


If they fire Ms. Val, then you have to know the athletic department is going the way of Pompei.  Seriously, woman has won 6 national championships and is 3rd all time in that category.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemesomesoftball
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrot
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
UCLA has hired a Crisis Management firm to help deal with this issue. It's a PR nightmare.


And thus all of the other coaches will have a nice under-the-radar ability to keep their jobs for awhile.

LMSS always talks about the backlash softball received from the basketball community after the softball team's indiscretions.  Does the basketball team get to feel that backlash from the other sports now?


I suspect the opposite will be true.  There will be a cleansing and every sport will get under the microscope to make sure that this lax attitude isn't going to pop up and bite them from the other sports.  If I were a coach, other than Mora and Scates, I'd be nervous at this time.

Geez, the players were taking Ecstasy during conference season, for goodness sake!  I can see all players in all sports suddenly being drug tested.  Maybe frequently.

When the premier revenue sport explodes the ripple effect is felt throughout the entire athletic department.  This may be Guerrero's Little BigHorn.


I would say Ms. Val, being a great teacher, well respected in the community, loved by her players as well as fans and alums is safe. After that.......RUN!!!


If they fire Ms. Val, then you have to know the athletic department is going the way of Pompei.  Seriously, woman has won 6 national championships and is 3rd all time in that category.


Well, there are 4 UCLA teams ranked number 1 in the country at this very moment and people are calling for the A.D.s head.
BillSmith

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 5,105
Reply with quote  #26 

Disclaimers: Following this debacle for reasons unrelated to UCLA softball or basketball. Have read the article, while it is a PR nightmare, nothing contained therein is shocking nor a revelation.

 

Quote:
Well, there are 4 UCLA teams ranked number 1 in the country at this very moment and people are calling for the A.D.s head.

 

So, a question to pose given the above...

 

Given this lastest outrage in the media, if Coach Howland's squad were ranked #1, would Dan Guerrero's job be questioned?

 

 


__________________
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West Bay Nuggets
NorCal Women's Fastpitch Summer League
info: nuggetsoftball@aol.com

Sometimes you are the mole, sometimes the mushroom.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSmith

Disclaimers: Following this debacle for reasons unrelated to UCLA softball or basketball. Have read the article, while it is a PR nightmare, nothing contained therein is shocking nor a revelation.

 

Quote:
Well, there are 4 UCLA teams ranked number 1 in the country at this very moment and people are calling for the A.D.s head.

 

So, a question to pose given the above...

 

Given this lastest outrage in the media, if Coach Howland's squad were ranked #1, would Dan Guerrero's job be questioned?

 

 



Great question. My answer: Absolutely not. 

It's like my dad used to say when he gathered all us kids for a family "vote".  "You guys each get one vote each (I have 3 siblings) and I get 5 votes."

At UCLA 23 sports get 1 vote each.  Basketball gets 24 votes.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #28 
BruinsNation is in unusually acidic form...

F**k you Ben Howland. F**k you Dan Guerrero.

I am so angry, I don't know how else to start this special edition of Bruin Bites. All I can wonder at this point is how Ben Howland and Dan Guerrero are still collecting pay checks from UCLA. These two incompetent, feckless, pieces of human filth should be run out of Westwood. If Gene Block (read: Rhea Turtletaub) has any spine, then it is time to step up and do what should have been done a long time ago:

Read the rest...

LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,120
Reply with quote  #29 
Just arrived in my inbox...



Fellow Bruins:

I’d like to take a moment to address the article which appeared in this week’s Sports Illustrated concerning our men’s basketball program. You have been such a great supporter of UCLA Athletics, and I know that you may have questions.

I am disappointed that the alleged actions of a select few could cast doubts on all that is great about UCLA Athletics. At UCLA, we take very seriously anything that challenges our long-held values as an athletic department and as a university.

As a lifelong Bruin, I take enormous pride in the conduct of all of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes. Please be assured that the athletic administration on this campus continues to work tirelessly to ensure that all of our student-athletes take pride in what UCLA is about. Those of us fortunate enough to work with our student-athletes do everything in our power to make sure the values of UCLA Athletics are instilled in them each and every day.

Like many of you, my resolve to restore our program to its place among the nation’s elite has never been stronger.

I ask you to continue to support the young men and women who represent UCLA in their chosen sport every day. The Bruin family must now, more than ever, come together.

Thank you for your continued support of UCLA Athletics.

Dan Guerrero
Director of Athletics, UCLA 
olddsbfan

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #30 

I agree with Indyrun, it is a scandal.  Maybe there were no NCAA infractions found (FOUND), but the ugly behavior of the players and the ignoring by those in charge of these behaviors is not upstanding, esteemed or acceptable at any University especially one that aspires to John Wooden's values.  And I don't care if it happens everywhere, it shouldn't happen at all. And I don't blame the players.  They are young and away from home for the first time.  I blame those who should be paying attention and guiding these young athletes.

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