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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Ben Howland
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday that comments made by the conference's coordinator of officials are "not a fireable offense" and have been "mischaracterized" as targeting only Arizona coach Sean Miller during internal meetings before the league tournament.
Steve Alford walked into Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday for the first time since the 1984 Summer Olympics, took his place under the 11 national championship banners and called his new job as UCLA basketball coach "a challenge."
At Rick Majerus' final stop, the lone concession to the coach's health woes were the footstools stationed at each corner of the practice court.
A decade ago, Butler beating North Carolina would have been huge news, an upset that sent shockwaves throughout college basketball.
Most of the pregame attention was given to a UCLA freshman who had yet to appear in a college game. It should have been directed at a sophomore from Georgetown who was returning after being injured in the season opener.
Players and staff members from the past four UCLA basketball teams say that coach Ben Howland allowed an influx of talented but immature recruits to undermine team discipline and morale as the once-proud program has struggled to live up to its storied history, Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday.
Walt Hazzard, the former UCLA and NBA star who played on the Bruins' first NCAA championship basketball team in 1964 and later coached the team for four seasons in the 1980s, died Friday. He was 69.
UCLA guard Malcolm Lee is leaving school to enter the NBA draft and he plans to hire an agent, ensuring he won't be eligible to return for his senior season.
Chris Wright and Austin Freeman stared straight ahead, hurt and sadness etched across their faces.
UCLA is back in the NCAA tournament after sitting out last year, giving the Bruins a chance to erase the bad memories created by their early exit from the Pac-10 tournament.
After stumbling through its worst season in seven years, UCLA didn't lose any players to the NBA draft. It just wasn't good enough.
After limping through the summer recruiting season having ruptured his Achilles' tendon, UCLA coach Ben Howland hopes things are looking up for himself and the Bruins.
"A new coach offers me a fresh start," he said, noting Alford's emphasis on defense. "We definitely lacked a little on defense so hopefully he can come in and pick up that side for us."
"He was a great coach and a really, really good person" Howland said. "It's a sad day for basketball because he was a brilliant man."