UCLA basketball has always had its own special shine, and any tarnish has never been tolerated for long. As tempting as it is to blame immature players—and they deserve a heavy dose—the team members who spoke to SI were unanimous in their belief that leadership from Howland would have prevented or at least curtailed the damage. Says one, "Can you imagine the same thing happening at Duke? Can you imagine players getting away with that stuff under Coach K?"
That is hard to imagine, just as it would have been hard to envision four years ago that UCLA would be in its current state. Back then the team was united, the players mature and humble. Who could have predicted a train running so smoothly would go off the rails? Who could have foreseen such a departure from the UCLA way?