Lesson From Ben Howland Firing

UCLA’s basketball got fired tonight. Why? It wasn’t because he didn’t win the Pac-12 regular season title. But one reason he was fired was the fact his own players and Bruins fans never got excited about him running the program outside of when he went to the Final Four.

Howland was not a people person. And in L.A., when you run a marquee program, you need charisma and some style. You can’t treat people like they owe you something.

Pete Carroll wrote the book on how to capture L.A. Howland never tried.

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  • TrojanFamily

    UCLA’s basketball got fired? Was it because it didn’t go in the basket enough? Didn’t bounce properly? Was it just too darn ineffective against the Golden Gophers? We need to know the whole story!

    • Jethro G Sabbath

      They only had one basketball?

      • TrojanFamily

        Maybe Scott meant UCLA basketball was cut. Eliminated. Sacrificed for Title IX. Now that would be, as Chuckles would say, a sugary sweet scoop! Thanks Wolf! You da man!

    • Swoll Francis

      sad tom hanks voice: “WILSON!”

  • NoMercy

    That Basketball got what It Deserved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charles Bucket

    wolfman, you are dead on CORRECTO as usual!!!

    i would add that while Howland was a great teacher of defense and a great recruiter, MAN he was stubborn as a mule!!! just time for a change.

    i do give him credit for adapting somewhat (relenting on man to man defense and letting the offense run) but it was too little too late. i have little doubt he will continue to be very successful at another school.

    southern cal hiring him would be a stroke of genius…i would NOT want to have Howland coaching southern cal with an axe to grind!!!

    but Bounce Pass would never make such a bold move so no worries!!!

    • Jethro G Sabbath

      He was CORRECTO about Pete Carroll, wasn’t he?

      • http://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charles Bucket

        yes he was. Cheatey DID write the book on capturing LA….but also wrote the book on running a pay for play program as evidence by the Bush case. this has been validated by the NCAA in case you forgot!!! i keep a tabbed copy of the Report on my desk at all times.

        Big Ben is as clean as they come!!!

        • TrojanFamily

          Take it off
          Take it in
          Take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been
          Take a look
          Hesitate
          Take a picture you could never recreate
          Write a song
          make a note
          for the lump that sits inside your throat
          Change the locks, change the scene
          Change it all but can’t change what we’ve been
          Your trojan’s in my head
          It’s ok if it’s gone
          The thoughts that you had that it was the one
          And oh what is left?
          For all those times is that what you get?
          Oh regardless
          The walls get painted anyway
          Oh you’re guarding
          The gates, but it all got away
          Your trojan’s in my head
          Take it off
          Take it in
          Take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been
          Take a look
          Hesitate
          Take a picture you could never recreate
          Write a song
          make a note
          for the lump that sits inside your throat
          Change the locks, change the scene
          Change it all but can’t change what we’ve been

          • TrojanFan

            You need to slow down on the sauce!….haha!

        • TrojanFan

          Is that the desk you used down in the basement….ha ha!

    • http://4chan.org/ m00t

      Take it off
      Take it in
      Take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been
      Take a look
      Hesitate
      Take a picture you could never recreate
      Write a song
      make a note
      for the lump that sits inside your throat
      Change the locks, change the scene
      Change it all but can’t change what we’ve been
      Your trojan’s in my head
      It’s ok if it’s gone
      The thoughts that you had that it was the one
      And oh what is left?
      For all those times is that what you get?
      Oh regardless
      The walls get painted anyway
      Oh you’re guarding
      The gates, but it all got away
      Your trojan’s in my head
      Take it off
      Take it in
      Take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been
      Take a look
      Hesitate
      Take a picture you could never recreate
      Write a song
      make a note
      for the lump that sits inside your throat
      Change the locks, change the scene
      Change it all but can’t change what we’ve been

  • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

    SC should hire Ben. Look at Montgomery going from Stanford to Cal. Plus SC could pay him $1 a year while he collects from the bRuins. He’s actually as good as we could expect.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Doverz/1423558008 Ben Doverz

      Yeah, he and Kiffin could trade notes on how to act like Mike Garrett!!!!!!!!

  • Cheap seats

    He was probably most guilty of focusing on recruiting the “one and done” top HS players rather than guys who would provide WORK ETHIC and stability to the program.

    When you have a player making a game winning shot (Drew) and the star doesn’t even offer a high five or seem happy about the win, Howland isn’t the problem.

  • Spedjones

    UCLA did with Ben what USC should have done with Kiffin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Doverz/1423558008 Ben Doverz

    Kiffin is much like Howland, a dryball narcissist

  • gotroy22

    Why does UCLA have higher standards than SC? Howland wins the Pac 12 but doesn’t compete for NCAA championships so he is fired. We keep Kiffin after guiding the preseason #1 to six losses. Pat Haden sickens me.

  • Ben Factor

    To all you Scott Wolf bashers, this blog entry is a good example of Scott’s ability to provoke a conversation about a slightly oblique sports topic. I enjoy this aspect of his work, among others.