Ben Howland held his weekly press conference today at UCLA. The presser covered the usual weekly topics of previous week's games debacles and the upcoming games (which are at this point meaningless in a disgraceful basketball season). The elephant in the room was the topic of a potentially explosive scandal that may rock Howland's dumpster fire program tomorrow.
Howland had to address the speculation swirling around a potential blockbuster story in Sports Illustrated that may inflict some serious damage not just on our cherished basketball program, but also on the reputation of the entire university. Here is the video of the presser (the exchange re. the brewing scandal starts at 12:50 min mark):
Peter Yoon from ESPNLA has already posted a rough transcript of the exchange here.
We are all waiting for the details in what is speculated to be a 10 page story. The questions we are wondering include:
- How did UCLA athletics handle the potential issues when they were presented to Howland and Dan Guerrero?
- How did Guerrero react to them? Did he care? Did he look the other way?
- What kind of measures UCLA took if there was a pattern in the said issues? How tough or lenient were they?
- Did Guerrero and Howland's staff took immediate corrective measures and take steps to ensure future issues didn't emerge? How did they handle it as an organization?
- Were Dan Guerrero and Ben Howland on top of it?
Howland can try his best to spin himself as a pathetic figure as someone who is not "perfect." But if the allegations in the stories turn out to be serious, well supported by evidence and embarrass the brand of UCLA, then he and Guerrero will need to be held accountable. Saying "everybody makes mistakes" will not be good enough. We also don't want to hear Howland's trademark "I should have ..." BS either.
Those two have flushed UCLA basketball into the gutter. While every elite program in the country is getting ready for March Madness in what is supposed to be the most exciting time of the year, we are bracing for a potential program breaking scandal and hoping to finish in the top-4 of a garbage conference. Calling this situation "unacceptable" is being nice. Pathetically saying he is "not perfect" will not cut it.