Howland deserving of new contract 

October, 4, 2007
Quick hitters for a Thursday:

• Ben Howland told me Monday night that he's not going anywhere, that UCLA got the right guy when it hired him in 2003. Howland loves being the coach at UCLA, which is exactly what the Bruins and the most recognizable school in the UC-system (I know that statement alone might anger Cal fans) want out of their head basketball coach. But the different here is that UCLA is finally paying a coach what he deserves, even though he knows like the rest what a privilege it is to coach in Westwood. Howland's new deal, which will keep him at UCLA for the next seven years and push his salary to $2 million in the final year, is deserving. Remember, UC schools aren't known to be as open with the funds as other state schools around the country. UCLA doesn't charter to games, nor do its coaches use a charter for recruiting. So, the built-in advantages that say Billy Donovan has at Florida don't exist at UCLA. In reality, Howland is still a bargain.