Howland says DePaul rumors untrue

Updated: March 24, 2010, 11:11 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

UCLA men's basketball coach Ben Howland, reacting Wednesday to a rumor tying him to the coaching vacancy at DePaul, says he has no plans to leave the Bruins.

"I am the coach at UCLA. I will never leave UCLA and will stay at UCLA as long they will have me," Howland said in statement released by the university.

Howland has been on the recruiting trail every day but one since UCLA's season ended on March 12 (and the one day he missed was because he had food poisoning), according to sources close to the program.

Ben Howland
Ben Howland

ESPN reported earlier Wednesday that Howland had been rumored to be offered a multiyear deal by DePaul.

Aside from the statement released by the school, Howland told the Sporting News he has "zero interest" in the DePaul job. He went on to say any reports of him being interested in DePaul were "absolutely unfounded, untrue -- 100 percent unequivocal."

Howland, who could not be reached for further comment Wednesday, was as disenchanted as anyone about the Bruins' subpar season. And based on his recent workload, he seems determined to turn it around.

The other reason Howland probably isn't planning to leave UCLA any time soon?

In 2008 he signed a seven-year contract extension that escalated his salary from $1.97 million in 2008-09 to $2.3 million a year until 2014-15.

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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