HOWLAND SCRATCHES UCLA ITCH WITH NEW 7-YEAR DEAL: Ben Howland will be sticking around Westwood for a while, as the UCLA basketball coach just signed a new 7-year deal with the Pac-10 power:
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that Howland’s contract starts out at $1.5 million for the 2007-08 season, and can increase to $2 million by the final year. The new deal also includes an incentives package that can bring an additional $235,000 into the pockets of the Pauley Pavilion purveyor.
Howland has coached the Bruins to back-to-back Final Four appearances the last two seasons. And he seems content to stay where he’s at: “This has always been my dream job. I grew up a Bruin basketball fan and it still is hard for me to believe that I am the caretaker of the program that Coach (John) Wooden built.”