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UCLA basketball: Ben Howland admonishes Joshua Smith for comments about officiating

January 11, 2011 |  3:28 pm

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said he admonished Joshua Smith for comments the freshman center made that were critical about the officiating after the Bruins' 63-52 loss to USC on Sunday, calling Smith's remarks "totally poor judgment."

After fouling out for a second consecutive game, Smith said "the refs were terrible. The one where I fell and [Nikola] Vucevic fell on me, the refs said, 'Well, I had to call it because you fell.' They're giving me [ridiculous] answers. They're telling me this, this and this. I mean, I'm a guy who will own up to it when I foul."

Howland reviewed tape of the game with Smith and said Tuesday there was only one call that could be questioned. Howland said Smith did not think another called foul where he made contact with Vucevic was warranted.

"He was like, 'I don't think I fouled him,' " Howland said. "Yeah, your arm is coming right down and you're hitting him. So he was still in denial after seeing it and seeing that he's fouling.

"So he's got to grow up and learn that that's uncalled for and inappropriate."

When he met with the media Tuesday, Smith apologized for his comments and for giving the middle finger to a USC fan who had yelled a personal remark about his family after the game.

"After the game, with emotions all over the place, it just kind of happened," Smith said. "My parents have taught me well, but he said something personal where I just let him know how I felt, especially after a game we lost.

"I do regret it. I'm a bigger person than that."

-- Ben Bolch

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