Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Lute Olson News

Yeah, I'm sick of hearing about him too, but it seems as if the fall out from Lute Olson leaving is not over yet. First, Mike Dunlap, who most everyone expected to take over the reins of the Wildcats on an interim basis, turned down the position. The Wildcats instead hired former Arizona State assistant and last year's Sun Devils color commentator Russ Pennell. If that wasn't enough, it now looks as if Pennell will have to do all his own recruiting for the class of 2009, as Abdul Gaddy, Solomon Hill, and Mike Moser have all reopened their recruitment.

It now appears as if there is a reason for all of this madness. From USA Today:

Lute Olson suffered a stroke within the past year that contributed to recent "severe depression" and "changes in judgment," his doctor said Tuesday.
The 74-year-old University of Arizona basketball coach retired last Thursday upon advice of Dr. Steven A. Knope to step down.

Knope said an MRI done Monday confirmed that Olson "had a stroke in the frontal part of the brain" sometime in the past year. The stroke affected Olson's "executive decision-making and personality."
He was apparently taking anti-depressants throughout his leave of absence, was able to stop taking them around April but had to go back on the medication in the last few weeks.

Hopefully Lute will pull through all of this with a clean bill of health. If there is a silver lining here, it is that Lute's legacy as a Hall of Fame coach and legendary program builder is no longer tarnished after the ugly split with UA.

In other news: Cincinnati freshman Cashmere Wright, who was expected to move scorer Deonta Vaughn off the point, tore his ACL and is out for the year.

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