Is UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero Feeling the Heat as Well?

Under pressure Chianti looking to back stab his way to save his rear end. - Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Why Does Dan Guerrero finally turn on Ben?

ESPN has their normal mindless regurgitation of the Howland press conference. ESPN's Yoon even buys Howland's comments on playing Tony Parker "major minutes in huge games" this season. (And for those who follow BN he really did say "huge".) Unless at home against Utah counts as huge, I doubt it. But the key part is Howland's official comment on Bruin Report Online story that his job is in jeopardy.

"I can't help you in substantiating anything that is written on the boards," Howland said. "Everything at UCLA since I've been here has been very much the same in that you are evaluated at the end of every season."

And judging from Guerrero's comments and happiness after the "huge" win at Texas and his messages, that is what Howland has been told. But all the sudden, after three WINS, Guerrero is apparently changing his message and not backing Howland. In an excellent analysis by Rant Sports Evan Barnes(emphasis mine).

A day later, it's going to still dominate talk around the program because it's the first time many of us have heard the athletic department waver in their support of Howland. All I can say is what took them so long?

The last two years have been a disgrace for UCLA fans. While many of them have called for Howland's job, the athletic director had publicly stood by him. So now, they want support because they've added their voice to the chorus? Not so fast.

. . . Maybe Guerrero is trying to save his own job considering he's been under fire the last few years.

. . . The only shock here is that it took them two years to finally consider life after Howland because they've stood by him when many fans and boosters have turned their back.

Regardless of whether Guerrero is reacting to the heat, waking up from his two plus year nap during basketball, etc.; the timing of his move also shows his incompetence.

The timing of this is also suspect. Why leak this news as the team is on a three-game winning streak and preparing for a game Saturday? It should've been put out when the team was struggling, not when they've been appearing as good as they have all year.

Nothing bad has happen since the "huge win" that Dan Guerrero was so happy about at Texas. But, in any case, Howland is almost certainly done. It looks like Guerrero finally realizes it. Guerrero should not be given "credit" for realizing what everyone else did a while ago. But he should get the blame for the even bigger mess he seems to be creating.

If he backed Howland to the end of this year (assuming no more huge embarrassments) while quietly searching for a new coach: yeah, we would complain but it would be a defendable move. If he fired Howland after Josh left and the loss to Cal Poly or even San Diego State, no one would have criticized him. But he undercuts Howland and messes with the current players by finally talking about firing in leaks to Bruin Report online when as Rant puts it: "appearing as good as they have all year."

Go Bruins!

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