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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    ‘Classless’ describes Wildcat and columnist, not Olson

    I have never been as disappointed with the Daily Wildcat as I was upon reading about Lute Olson’s perceived “”lack of class”” in the way in which he has handled his leave of absence (“”Lute’s absence lacks class”” yesterday). If columnist Michael Schwartz wants to attack someone for a lack of class he needs only to look in the mirror; bringing up how Lute dealt with the passing of his late wife Bobbi as some sort of evidence is disgraceful and truly “”classless.”” Who gave the Daily Wildcat and its columnist the right to judge how someone deals with the passing of their wife of 47 years? Attempting to then compare that situation with one the columnist, and almost everyone else, know absolutely nothing about shows that Lute Olson has more class in one strand of his perfect white hair than the columnist has in his entire body.

    Lute is showing the utmost class and character by doing all that he can to stay in the background and not be a distraction for the current team. Note that he has not held any press conferences, spoken with the media, attended a game (even on Senior Day he only appeared for post game ceremonies), or done anything that might be a distraction to the team. He has given 110 percent to the UA and its athletic department for the past 25 years, and realized that he would not be able to do so due to a personal matter, one that is none of the public’s business.

    While we are all curious by nature, there has still been no definitive explanation for Lute’s leave of absence, and Olson is exemplifying tremendous class by not addressing the matter during the season and creating another distraction for the basketball team. The only reason that it was made public that Lute will be coming back next year is to ensure that current recruits (specifically Brandon

    Jennings) do not renege on their commitments to play for the UA. Lute has let it be known throughout this ordeal that he would be returning next year as head basketball coach, thus the announcement that he would do so was not really newsworthy.

    Schwartz argues “”all that (Lute Olson’s) privacy has done is veil the truth.”” What would be gained by knowing the details of why Lute took his leave of absence? Lute has not “”hidden behind press releases,”” as the “”columnist”” hypothesizes, but rather has attempted to be as little of a distraction as possible. Mentioning his salary as some sort of reason why Olson should be deemed “”classless”” is unbelievable. Act like the columnist you claim to be and do some research and find out for yourself that as a state employee, Lute is entitled to receive his salary while on a leave of absence.

    We cannot currently know whether Lute lied about his “”personal matter”” or not. If he did, we cannot currently know if he did so as a means to protect one of his children, someone in his family, or simply to lie about his own health, as is admittedly possible. Lute Olson is simply waiting for the right time to address the matter, and that time will come after the season ends. Hopefully that is a long time from now, but then and only then should we judge Lute’s character and whether or not he exudes class. Something tells me Schwartz will regret ever writing this article once the entire truth is made public.

    Let us get behind our current team rather than completely forgetting them and kicking them to the curb. They have done an outstanding job in the face of immense criticism, unfortunate injuries and uncertainty throughout. We have the talent to make a deep run in both the Pacific 10 Conference and NCAA tournaments, and we should focus on that and deal with the off-the-court issues after the season.

    “”Stay classy”” Arizona!

    -Blake B. Bartholomew
    senior majoring in economics and political science

    Olson column ‘character attack’

    I must say that I’m extremely disappointed with Michael Schwartz’s “”Lute’s absence lacks class”” column yesterday. Since when did the reasoning behind Lute’s absence become information that the public has a right to know? If anything, Lute has the right to keep his personal life private and his discreetness exemplifies more class, not less. His request for privacy was inevitably ignored, but I assumed this was a consequence of having a genuinely concerned community. Unfortunately, being in the public eye makes speculation unavoidable and privacy very difficult to maintain. This should not be justification, however for Schwartz to make a full blown character attack on Lute by essentially calling him a liar with no class simply because he chooses to keep his personal life just that – personal! Further, I am absolutely stunned that Schwartz would have the audacity to compare the time off Lute took after his wife’s death to his recent absence. Not only is the comparison completely irrelevant, as the two instances aren’t even remotely linked, but highly inappropriate and done in really bad taste. Additionally, the disclosure of Lute’s salary was unnecessary and implied that the public was somehow “”entitled”” to personal information because of the amount of money he earned. Lute’s salary is a direct result of a lifetime of dedication to coaching and a reflection of just how hard he worked in order to get it, not payment in exchange for his abandonment of privacy. Unfortunately, instead of writing about the highly anticipated return of a man we all love and respect, Schwartz wrote about the private details of that man’s life, which should have remained private, and then insulted him. This intrusive, tactless, sad attempt at unveiling the “”truth”” behind Lute’s absence clearly illustrates Schwartz’s own lack of class and respect.

    -Lauren McCrindle
    psychology senior

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