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of the main reasons I have continued my working relationship with
Coach Howland is that he always instills in his colleagues the feeling
that they, too, have ownership in the program,” Carlson says.
“In that sense, you always feel as if you have a stake in
what is going on around you, and that your position is more than
just a job.”
feeling has spilled over to the players, who have already begun
individual regimens of strength conditioning and weight lifting.
Howland is excited about the work ethic the team is showing. He’s
also pleased about the department’s academic support programs,
declaring that UCLA is doing “a great job” in helping
student-athletes reach their potential in the classroom.
on academics is one big reason Chancellor Albert Carnesale was sold
on Howland. “We conducted an exhaustive search for the new
coach and decided that Ben Howland is the perfect choice for UCLA,”
says Chancellor Carnesale. “He understands the importance
of academic and athletic excellence at UCLA, and he will ensure
that his players meet both their scholastic and their athletic goals.”
Howland’s arrival, UCLA has received a verbal commitment
from prized recruit Arron Afflalo, a 6-foot-4-inch, 180-pound guard
from Centennial High School in Compton. Afflalo, with a 3.25 GPA,
is considered the No. 1 shooting guard on the West Coast for the
Class of 2004 and is expected to sign a national letter of intent
fact that Howland’s first recruit is such a sought-after player
sends a powerful message, say those who watch such things closely.