UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland has been fired. And one of the guys he can blame is… Ben Howland.
Wait a minute – what?
It’s because a college coach has two separate jobs: recruit good athletes and then win games by coaching them.
It’s one of the great ironies when a coach who has been on the job for a while (Howland was at Westwood for 10 seasons) gets the pink slip because he didn’t get the most out of his talent. Even though he’s the reason they had that talent in the first place.
Howland consistently sent blue chippers to the pros — like Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and Kevin Love of Minnesota. And there is no guarantee his replacement will have as much success on signing day.
But a fan base that’s impatient only cares about what you do in March. And in recent years, Ben Howland the coach didn’t win with the great players that Ben Howland the recruiter brought to UCLA.