After reading through the litany of misdeeds and internal issues that coach Ben Howland seemed to overlook while watching his UCLA program decline, I couldn't help but think of one of John Wooden's great maxim's for success: "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
Charles Haub III, Haverford, Pa.
It is hard for me to believe that an experienced coach like Howland would sit back and allow some bad apples to take over his program (Not the UCLA Bruins Way). A guy as disruptive as Reeves Nelson should have been booted from the team the first time he deliberately injured another player.
Jacqueline P. Kelly, Fort Myers, Fla.
As a former manager at UCLA under Coach Howland from 2003 to '05, I was very disappointed by what I consider to be an inaccurate portrayal of both him and his character. Everyone seems to forget that this is the same guy who led the Bruins to three consecutive Final Fours (2006, 2007 and 2008) and to the NCAA championship game (2006). While the program has gone through a rough patch, I just don't think enough blame is being placed on the guys who were the troublemakers. They were the real cause of the problem.
Brett Tashman, Los Angeles
John Calipari's one-and-done approach at Kentucky (SCORECARD) is a prime example of how in some cases there is rarely any "college" taking place in collegiate sports. Allowing one-and-dones turns universities into minor league farm systems for the NBA, thus negating the underlying purpose of even having student-athletes.
Eric Schmitt, New Carlisle, Ohio
I was discouraged by Phil Taylor's column on steroids (POINT AFTER). The lax, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude should never prevail. Our kids are increasingly losing the battle with drugs and substance abuse; therefore, we must always promote the Just Say No agenda and punish steroid abusers. I would much rather have steroid fatigue than fight with a child steroid addict.
Dr. Sherry Anne Lints, Utica, N.Y.
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SAINTS BOUNTY CULTURE
UCLA SPECIAL REPORT
Which team has impressed you the most in the NCAA tournament so far?
Nicholas Bromund: For me it's Kenny Boynton and Florida with their blowout wins over Virginia and Norfolk State, each by 25-plus points. I wouldn't be surprised if the Gators made it to the Final Four.
Ben Ertl: Definitely Indiana. I'd say it's pretty impressive that a team that was below .500 last year has won 27 games so far this season. The Hoosiers came from nine down with three minutes to play to beat a good VCU team, a squad that was in the Final Four last year.
John Kasich (@JohnKasich): I'm impressed that four teams from Ohio (Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio State and Xavier) are in the Sweet 16. Yet another example of our great state setting a new standard in basketball.
Dennis Ashworth: Xavier. Down by 10 to Notre Dame and by 15 to Lehigh, but the Musketeers came back to win both games.
Jeff Roberts: Michigan State, especially Draymond Green, who appears to be the most valuable player so far. He's not the best, but he's definitely the most important to his team.
Rick Zinser: Duke negatively impressed me by losing to Lehigh and showing how it wasn't even ready to play in the tournament.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"If you're Tim tebow r u offended? Or is it kinda like giving your spouse a pass to cheat if someone on their list was actually interested?"
ALEX FLANAGAN (@ALEX_FLANAGAN)
JEFFERY A. SALTER (COVER)
FOR March 5, 2012
BILL FRAKES (BOYNTON)