Reports surfaced late on Saturday that the UCLA Bruins have parted ways with head coach Ben Howland, who led them to their third straight Final Four appearance just five years ago. This year, the Bruins had a disappointing season that started with a top 15 preseason ranking but an opening game loss in the 2013 NCAA Tournament to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The reports that Howland was out made sense and seemed like an inevitable move, but now the university claims that they have not not made the decision to fire Howland, nor has he been informed that he will be out as head coach.
Per Gary Parrish of CBS Sports:
UCLA has released a statement. “Contrary to multiple media reports this evening, UCLA has not fired men’s basketball coach Ben Howland.”
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 24, 2013
There is always the chance that Howland could mysteriously “step down” as head coach in the coming weeks or that the Bruins are still contemplating how to handle their embarrassing loss.
Whatever they decide to do, it likely will not be resolved before the end of the tournament, but it wouldn’t be shocked to see Howland coaching elsewhere next season,