I think it goes without saying we are all disappointed with not only the current season, but with the direction and leadership within the program. I agree with the majority on BN that Ben needs to go and Dan has long overstayed his welcome in Westwood. We all expect more, and we should rightfully demand change and accountability. But as I sat and watched teams/coaches/parents celebrate their selection into the NCAA tournament this afternoon, a thought came to mind.
I believe UCLA should accept a bid (if invited, and to be honest we're no lock) to the NIT. It's been well stated that we only hang NCAA Championship banners in Westwood, and I respect that as much as the next person. But think about these young men who have worked hard (minus the outliers like JS) this year. Day in and day out in practice and the offseason, the majority of these kids have sacrificed time with family and friends to make this team their top priority. To take away the opportunity to play extra postseason basketball, the game all these kids love, really wouldn't be fair to them. My guess is if you took a vote in that locker room in regards to whether they want to play in the NIT if offered the chance, most would say yes. Along with that, the parents of these kids would love to see their sons keep playing. No matter what we think of the program, these parents should be and are proud of what their kids have accomplished.
To the diehard alumni who swear off the NIT, again I understand. If you're disgusted with the state of the program, you have every right to not watch or participate in the tournament. But I don't think that means we should take the opportunity away from these kids and parents.
So come 6:00 PDT, I'll be tuning in to see the NIT Selection Show. Not because I'm proud of where the program's at or because I want to hang an NIT banner. But I'll be watching hoping these kids, from the starters to the ones on the end of the bench, get to keep playing the game they love and their parents get to enjoy the ride along with them.