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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students express thoughts

    With UA men’s basketball coach Lute Olson announcing his retirement, many UA students are left to wonder what this means for the future of Arizona basketball.

    Kaitlin McIntosh, an English sophomore, said she is a lifetime fan of Arizona basketball and cannot imagine walking into McKale Center and not seeing Olson on the Arizona sideline.

    “”I have been a fan of UA basketball since I was born and what would be the point of watching it if he is not there?”” McIntosh said. “”It sucks because you cannot really think about the UA without thinking of Lute Olson – he is the person that everyone knows. Even if you don’t know basketball at all you will know who Lute Olson is.””

    Brandon Moore, a creative writing junior, said that it was only a matter of time before Olson’s tenure came to an end.

    “”It is definitely time for him to step down, I think it has been time for a while. I wish he would have maybe done it before the season started or at the end,”” Moore said. “”He is getting older and he has issues, and I really feel that it was not his intention to piss anybody off, but yeah he has disappointed the students and the team I’m sure.””

    The university should have done something to make sure this did not happened, especially after Olson took an abrupt leave of absence prior to last year’s season, Moore added.

    “”I think the university is (responsible), especially with what happened last year. He wasn’t able to handle an entire season; there is no reason he should have been asked back or really allowed back,”” Moore said.

    Steven Strauss, an education senior, said that this constant discussion of will he or won’t he coach is not fair to the current group of players.

    “”This team wants to be coached by Lute Olson,”” Strauss said. “”This is Arizona basketball – they expect him to be coming back and taking them through a great season and then he is going to potentially retire. He is playing with these kids’ emotions.””

    Harry Lex, a business economics senior, said that Olson leaving was not the end of the world; in fact, he said, it may benefit the team in the long run.

    “”I honestly don’t really care,”” Lex said. “”I am pretty upset with how the basketball team has been run, anyway. Lute Olson has picked some guys that are just one-and-done … I mean I love our sports, like all of our programs, but he did the same thing last year.””

    There has been a slow decline of Arizona basketball and this may just be it coming to a climax, Lex said.

    “”The last good team we had was when we had Jason Gardner and those guys like Luke Walton,”” Lex said. “”Those were guys that actually wanted to play on a team; these guys now are just about helping their stats and seeing how fast they can get into the NBA.””

    Several students said that if the UA football team makes it to a bowl game this year, then they would become the dominant sports program on campus.

    “”If Lute Olson goes, basketball is not going to be why this school is going to be good anymore – it’s probably going to be football,”” McIntosh said.

    Strauss said that even if Olson did not leave, football might still have taken over as the dominant program on campus.

    “”If (football) ends the season with nine wins, are you kidding me, that is way better than the 65 or 64 spot (in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament),”” Strauss said.

    In the end, McIntosh said that she was still in shock and could not yet comprehend the news.

    “”He can’t retire. He has been gone for like a year, and then he was coming back to bring us back to victory and now he is leaving again,”” McIntosh said.

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