Time Inc. and Sports Illustrated unequivocally stand behind George Dohrmann’s story, Not the UCLA Way. Dohrmann has multiple sources on the facts uncovered during his reporting. This includes a detailed conversation with Mr. Nelson
Case you don't know, Pauley Pavilion will reopen, on schedule, in October. If you're UCLA, do you want Howland & Guerrero doing the honors?
Carlino suffered a concussion during the preseason that caused him to miss the first three games. Nelson ridiculed Carlino for letting the injury sideline him. He told Carlino he didn't belong at UCLA and wasn't any good. He would yell at Carlino to leave the locker room, calling him "concussion boy." When Carlino returned to workouts, Nelson would go out of his way to set a screen on Carlino so he could hit him. Eventually, players say, Carlino dreaded practice. It was of little surprise when he left UCLA midway through the season and transferred to BYU.
After Carlino left, there was a team meeting at which Howland said he couldn't respect a quitter. "But everyone knew why Matt left," says one player. "He didn't want to keep sitting on the bench, but most of all he didn't want to be around Reeves anymore. That wasn't quitting. That was just smart."
"I have a strong conviction as a Christian, and I’ve been praying a lot for our team and our players as has my wife and my family and her Bible study group and everybody in our church," Howland said. "It’s all about having faith."
Howland is not a glitzy guy. He doesn't talk as fast, or as much, as Carroll. But he has a feel of permanence about him, of competence and consistency. As attention-deficit challenged as it is, Los Angeles also celebrates those who remain long enough to become part of its fabric.
We love Vin Scully. Same with Wooden. Magic Johnson never left us. Nor did Kareem. We can laugh about Tommy Lasorda and his Dodger Blue heaven baloney, but we love that he is still here, dishing it out. We understand, and acknowledge, what part of the Angels' image-growing is square on the shoulders of Mike Scioscia.
Others have left us, but will never be gone. Chick Hearn's verbal magic and Jim Murray's written wonders will be celebrated in Los Angeles as long as there is one sports fan with a memory.
Howland has years to go and mountains to climb before he reaches that status. But he has the right stuff. He is 52, already has 300 wins, and got to within one game of a national title in 2006.
"We've had some definite bad breaks. ... But there's no excuse. We should be more successful."
Howland said he never really sleeps that well. Six or seven hours most nights, and never very soundly. Falling asleep is the hardest part, so he reads the paper or watches TV for a while before trying to relax enough to let the day go.
Winning usually helps that process, but not always, and not this season -- yet.
Even after a win, even after his wife has stayed up to make him eggs at midnight, even after his team -- for one night at least -- showed the potential to turn this season around, sleep came reluctantly for Howland on Tuesday.
"You never leave it as a coach," he said. "Everything is going on in your head.
"We have a lot of young kids, so you have to be patient. It's hard, but sometimes you have to go through this. I've done it before, usually at the beginning of a job, not in the seventh year. There's a multitude of reasons why we are where we are, but at the end of the day we've got to be better than we've been playing."
Eventually, Howland drifts off to sleep. The solutions are not yet ready to reveal themselves.
Another night, perhaps.
Patience has always been one of his underrated virtues.
[O]ur football team crushes the Cougars over the weekend and USC loses at home on Homecoming! A heck of a time to be a UCLA fan!
UCLA coach Ben Howland and athletic director Dan Guerrero spoke glowingly about Wooden and his impact on the UCLA community. Former players Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Marques Johnson and Andy Hill each recounted poignant and funny memories.
I was particularly moved by the story told by Johnson. He brought up the time Wooden demonstrated his competitive drive. Johnson was a freshman when Wooden saw him shooting pool at a campus hangout. Wooden walked up and demanded his pool cue.
"Uh oh, I’m trouble," thought Johnson.
"Toothpick in his mouth, blue sweater, he leans over the pool table and proceeds to run off about seven or eight balls," Johnson recalled. "Hands me the pool cue, walks out without saying a word."
That’s John Wooden. He may come across as a homespun Midwesterner, but don’t let his "goodness gracious sakes alive" act fool you: He has always been a tough, confident competitor.
I wouldn't trade my UCLA degree for anything in the world, but I might change my graduation date. I was too late for the dominant John Wooden years and too early for Jim Harrick's one shining moment. I was at UCLA for the early Harrick years -- the losses to Penn State and Tulsa in the first round. Tough times. It's been fun watching the program thrive under Ben Howland, and I would love to attend a Final Four in person. Covering the Masters often makes that problematic, but Jim Nantz has figured out a way to do both. It's time for me to see the pageantry and school colors -- blue and gold, of course -- in person.