On Saturday night, multiple reports came out saying UCLA head coach Ben Howland had been fired after the Bruins were axed in the first round of the NCAA tournament. UCLA is saying those reports are not true.
“Contrary to multiple media reports this evening, UCLA has not fired men’s basketball coach Ben Howland,” UCLA athletics spokesman Nick Ammazzalorso said in a statement. Reports of his firing came out of TheRecruitScoop.com and was discussed on CBS during its coverage of the NCAA tournament. Way to go “reports.”
UCLA went 25-10 in 2012-13 and won the Pac-12 regular season title. They lost to Oregon 78-69 in the Pac-12 Conference final and they were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Minnesota 83-63 on Friday.
Howland also had to deal with the pay scandal involving Shabazz Muhammad this season. He missed three games after he was declared ineligible. It was also discovered Muhammad was one year older than he claimed the same day UCLA was eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
Howland is 230-105 with UCLA through 10 seasons. The Bruins made three-straight Final Fours under Howland in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The team has won four regular season conference titles and two Pac-12 tournament titles during his tenure. The Bruins started the season ranked No. 13 and finished at No. 24 before March Madness.
Howland previously coached at Northern Arizona from 1994 to 1999 and Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2003. The Panthers made the Sweet 16 twice under Howland in consecutive years. They won one regular season conference title and one conference tournament championship.
Howland’s reported “firing” showcases a lack of careful reporting that’s been going on as of late. There are more and more false reports coming out about pro players signing or being traded that are false. Last week, reports came out that John Abraham had agreed to a contract with the Patriots and that Emmanuel Sanders had received an offer sheet from New England to sign as a restricted free agent. It’s been a week, and neither of those has come true yet. Abraham is still taking visits and we have heard nothing on the Sanders front.
“Reporters” care more about being “first” and upping their Twitter followers than they care about having credibility. If anything, this will likely only get worse. So until Howland’s firing comes from a legitimate source, don’t believe everything you hear.
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