Earlier this morning I blogged a little flashback of Ben Howland's comments from 2007, that gave us a good reminder why UCLA has no business lobbying for the NIT. Well thankfully the Bruins are not going to the NIT, because the joke tournament itself just snubbed Howland's dumpster program from Westwood. Yes, it happened. NIT just said no and humiliated the program built by Coach John R. Wooden.
I watched the "NIT Selection Show" on ESPNU not in eager anticipation, but more with a sense of morbid curiosity to check out the trainwreck that is Dan Guerrero's UCLA basketball program. I doubt it gets any lower than this. Two years ago UCLA finished with a losing season, which itself was unacceptable. Just two years later Howland leads to the Bruins in a 5th place finish in perhaps the worst season in the history of Pac-10/12.
If Chancellor Gene Block had any sense of respect for the school he is supposed to lead, he'd ask his incompetent athletic director to offer his resignation by tomorrow afternoon. That's what we would get from a Chancellor if he cared one shred about the spirit of those four letters.
At this point it will not matter what Howland does rest of his career at UCLA. He could bring in some mercenaries to make one last ditch attempt to bring home a banner next season. However, no matter what happens here on out, Howland will never ever be able to hype himself as the "Caretaker" of John Wooden's program.
The atmosphere around this program will grow more toxic if Ben keeps himself around. The only way to detoxify this sick program will be to remove Chianti from Westwood, bring in a competent AD, who can rebuild Coach's legacy with a new a coach at UCLA.