clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ben Howland Explains Why UCLA Should Snub the NIT

Today is supposed to be one of the best days in college sports. If UCLA had a functioning program that performed up to the standards of John Wooden (LOL) Jim Harrick era, we'd be having open threads galore figuring out Bruins opponents in the Western regions, or where the Bruins would place in a "rebuilding season." Instead we are seeing pathetic headlines like this:

Ben Howland lobbies for an NIT bid

Coach Ben Howland made it perfectly clear: He wants his team to have the chance to continue playing.

"If we have the opportunity to play in the postseason in the NIT, we would accept," he said after the Bruins were bounced from the Pac-12 tournament after a 66-58 loss to Arizona in the quarterfinals Thursday.

"It's something I want for our players. I think that the experience for our younger kids as well as our seniors would be a good benefit for our program.

"So yeah, no question. We would not snub our nose at the opportunity to play in the NIT."

Well - if someone is in touch with Ben Howland today - he or she should serve Ben up with the following sound bites that provides the reason for why UCLA (in Ben's own words) as a program with the "greatest" coach ever and with some of the greatest players ever to play in this game, should be snubbing the NIT:

Those comments came after UCLA took care of Kansas Pittsburgh setting up an Elite-8 showdown with Kansasin his last run to the Final-4. They provide ample reasons why he and his incompetent boss have no business lobbying UCLA for a bid in a joke tournament. Not only going to the NIT is an insult to the Coach's legacy, given the body language we have seen from our players, it is doubtful extra couple of days of practices will help UCLA. If UCLA officials have any sense of respect for the legacy of Coach Wooden, the answer to any NIT invitation should be NO.

All we have to do is look back at our appearance in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl experience, which is equivalent of the NIT. I can't imagine why it would be a good thing for the Bruins to get humiliated by Long Beach State or some other fired up program that will be anxious to get some national spotlight at the expense of those four letters in the first round of NIT.

Not a good situation any way you look at it. Howland's comments from four years ago just put an exclamation point on how low he and the entire program have fallen. Another sad day in for the Coach's program during the disgraceful reign of Dan Guerrero. We are experiencing this for the second time in three years and if this doesn't get Chianti out of Westwood, perhaps we should stop caring about our programs in general.