UCLA Basketball: Will Howland Be Fired If Frosh Trio Get Charged?

Doug BrodessCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 18:  Head coach Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins reacts as he coaches in the first half against the St. John's Red Storm at Madison Square Garden on February 18, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Three members of UCLA's highly-touted Class of 2012 recruiting class are the targets of an NCAA investigation, CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman is reporting.

Shabbaz Muhammad, the top ranked player among this year's freshmen, did not receive eligibility clearance in order to travel with the Bruins on the recent pre-season trip to China.

Now, Goodman says that the NCAA is also concerned about the recruitment of Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-7  point forward from New Jersey and Tony Parker, a big man out of Georgia.

This year's recruiting class has been billed as a group that could restore UCLA basketball to its glory days.

However, if the current investigations discover suspicious relationships with agents or the distributing of improper benefits to the recruits or their family members, could this be the last straw for Ben Howland?

ESPN's Dana O'Neil asserts:

"Howland enters this season with a ton on the line -- his reputation as a blue-collar taskmaster, the lofty hopes for the tradition of Westwood, the renewed ascension of the abysmal Pac-12 and his job."

Even though, the claims and accusations that swirled around the program last season have calmed down, a new controversy may be more than the 55-year-old head coach could withstand.