Blog Entry

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:38 am
Edited on: February 29, 2012 10:44 am
 
Under Ben Howland, the UCLA doctrines instilled under John Wooden have quickly deteriorated. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Players taking drugs, teammates fighting each other, an elite head coach losing control of his program.

The tales detailed by Sports Ilustrated’s George Dohrmann in his report on the fall of the UCLA program are eye-opening. With that said, we’re not looking at an NCAA investigation in the works, and, in fact, the reaction by most people is a simple raised eyebrow or two and a lack of surprise at the behavior. 

Dohrmann places most of the blame on the 2008 and 2009 recruiting classes, as well as the lack of control and discipline instilled by head coach Ben Howland. Once guys like Russell Westbrook, Jordan Farmer, Lorenzo Mata-Real, Josh Shipp and other players from the 2004 and 2005 recruiting classes left the program, the doctrines of “Wooden’s Pyramid of Success” – the UCLA way – quickly deteriorated with the younger players.

There was widespread drinking and drug use among the players in Westwood, including one story of three players going to a rave on New Year’s Eve – after specifically being asked not to go out – and using Ecstasy and partying until 5 a.m. Some of the players, according to Dorhmann, bragged about still feeling the effects of the drugs at practice the next morning.

Then there’s Reeves Nelson, of course. The heavily-tattoed power forward from Modesto, Calif. was supposed to bring toughness and other Howland philosophies to the table. Instead, he brought nothing but chaos and instability to the program. 

Some of the “highlights” of Nelson’s tenure with the Bruins, as laid-out by Dohrmann:

  • Urinating on Tyler Honeycutt’s clothes and flipping his bed over
  • Purposely pulling down on James Keefe’s left arm, which had just been repaired by surgery, and injuring Alex Schrempf’s back for several months with a hard foul
  • Berating Matt Carlino and calling him “concussion boy” to the point Carlino felt the need to transfer to BYU
  • Constantly talking back and yelling at assistant coaches
  • Fighting Mike Moser and Drew Gordon on multiple occasions

Howland clearly lost of control of his program with lack of discipline and involvement in the development of players. Dohrmann wrote that Howland doesn’t have much contact with his team outside of games and practices, and constantly talks down to his assistants. Howland didn’t punish Nelson for several of his actions and let him run amok until finally kicking him off the team on December 9.

It was only a few years ago that Howland steered UCLA to three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-2008. The Bruins have steadily gone downhill since then, missing the NCAA tournament in 2010 and likely sitting on the sideline for the Big Dance this year too.

While Dohrmann’s piece does not magnify a NCAA scandal, it certainly shows the respect and luster for Howland – and UCLA – lessening with each passing year.

Comments

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

... and look at the way I spelled "speaking".



Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

What are the last two posters talking about? Are you speking Spanish? Pig Latin? It does seem you're trading insults. (Notice the way I spelled you're, the contraction for you are, not your).


milesbeyondU
Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:24 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



milesbeyondU
Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:21 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 17, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

Unfortunately the King of College basketball the late John Wooden can't advise and help UCLA players grow and become good citizens and great players. Even though he retired years ago his influence was always there and now that is gone so is the standard he set. Howland ran a good ship when Wooden was alive. Howland made poor John roll over in his grave. Howland I hope Wooden gets a moment to leave Heaven and haunt you until you come to your senses.



Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:32 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

I think it's time to bring Jim Harrick back along with Jim Harrick, Jr. They can build team chemistry by enrolling the entire team in a bogus "Coaching Basketball 101" class. It'll be just like old times.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:07 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

The article does have a lot of troubling things to say, however anyone who has watched this team consistantly over the past 3 years already knew that Howland had lost control. None of this is surprising to me, Howland needs to go. Before Howland goes, however, they need to get a new Athletic Director. Dan Guerrero has been horrible for UCLA sports. The two revenue sports are the worst they have ever been over a 10 year period. Guerrero has already hired 3 football coaches. I've never heard of an AD allowed to screw up two football coaching searches and still have a job. I have no faith or confidence in Guerrero to make this very important basketball hire. He needs to be shown the door and take Howland with him. Then finally UCLA can move on from an athletic standpoint.

Also, will people give up the Sam Gilbert garbage. The NCAA investigated it and sanctioned UCLA. None, repeat 0 of the violations found to be connected with Gilbert were tied to the Wooden era. Since you're posting here I assume you can use a computer. Do some research before you start bringing stuff up. People who do this for a living have already looked into it and found nothing but conjecture and storytelling. If you have a problem with John Wooden, then you have a problem with yourself.



Since: Sep 29, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:05 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

Do you ever have anything intelligent or positive to say? All you do is troll around and try to piss people off. Your a sad, sad little man



Since: Sep 29, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:03 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

And if you are over 35 dk13beso then you are one of the most immature people on these boards. Still leaving in mommy's basement? I hope you do not have children and if you do may God have mercy on their souls. 



Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Fall of the UCLA program detailed in new report

Hey jrb1701! Son, you say you're under 35 so please stay out of this. You were in diapers when those UCLA squads were dominating college basketball and you probably think Sam Gilbert is the dude who owns Sam's Clubs, not the bag man for Wooden and the Bruin basketball program. Hey, the Wizard was a great coach and he did promote teamwork, but Howland is allowing the UCLA legacy to go down the toilet as dudes jump ship from Westwood. By the way bro; how is it to go down to the Sports Arena to watch your beloved Bruins? Lovely area of L.A. I hear.


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