Aug. 27, 2005
From staff and news reports
John Wooden, UCLA's legendary coach who took the Bruins to 10 national titles, announced Friday that he will no longer support the presentation of the award for the best college basketball player named in his honor, according to the LA Times.
The 95-year old Wooden said in a statement that disagreements over the use of his name prompted the split from the Los Angleles Athletic Club's ceremony, though the Wooden Award's name, purpose and presentation will otherwise be unaffected.
Some sources indicated that the LAAC objected to the use of Wooden's name for another award, the Wooden Cup presented by Athletes for a Better World, because it confused the branding and promotion of the original Wooden Award.
Wooden expressed "great respect" for Wooden Award chairman Duke Llewellyn and appreciation for the club's promotion of the award, even admitting that he hoped for a compromise that would allow him to give the award his blessing, but the decision will be left to Wooden's son Jim Wooden and daughter Nan Wooden Muehlhausen.
The Wooden Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate men's and women's basketball players, much like college football's Heisman Award. More than 1,000 basketball experts cast their votes for the award. Wooden winners have included Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, David Robsinson and Tim Duncan, while last year's men's title went to the NBA's No. 1 draft pick, Andrew Bogut of