Doctor: Stroke Caused Lute Olson To Step Down

The ARIZONA DAILY STAR reports this afternoon that Lute Olson recently suffered a stroke.

Lute Olson suffered a small stroke over the past year, his doctor said today, that likely resulted in depression and changes in judgment. The stroke was discovered Monday night when Dr. Steven Knope examined the results of an MRI. The 74-year-old was told the news and remains at his home in Tucson.

Lute Olson

(OK, photo a little tasteless in the context of the story)

The stroke was caused when a clot likely traveled from his heart to his brain, Knope said. It did not come from stress and anxiety, though it might have caused stress and anxiety over the past year. It is in Olson’s frontal lobe, which Knope said controls “executive function, or planning,” and “a center for personality.”

So Olson’s lost his “executive function and … a center for personality“? What’s Phil Fulmer’s excuse then for having a job?

What isn’t clear is when Olson’s stroke happened. And how it could’ve been missed by doctors, given the description of his oft-erratic behavior.

Remember Olson sat out last season for what was termed a “non-life threatening medical condition”? That condition it appears now was clinical depression. Knope mentioned at the presser today that Olson had undergone effective rehab for depression in the past, but recent treatments were not taking, which prompted the MRI that detected the stroke.

This all makes you wonder if the resignation wasn’t a voluntary decision on Olson’s part. That an intervention took place because of some sort of erratic behavior.

It is interesting to note that recruits first found out about Olson’s resignation, before the school did. That tells you Olson may have not been in complete control of how the announcement was made. Not that it really matters at this point. Olson’s health is the main thing now, and like everyone, we’re rooting for his full recovery.