I’m sure Mike Stoops is really excited about this one. As Stoops gets his Arizona football team ready for the biggest game of his coaching career, vs. USC on Saturday, ESPN’s Dick Vitale reported earlier today that Arizona Basketball Coach Lute Olson “is stepping down as the school’s men’s basketball coach.”
(Bald story-breakers keeping things interesting for ESPN this week)
In other words, no one in Tucson now cares about Saturday’s football game.
But while Vitale has staked his reputation on the story - culled from a “source,” the UA athletic department is wholly denying it. Though curiously, Olson has not made a public statement since Vitale’s report.
So what’s really going on?
My guess is that Olson was probably considering retiring, and may have even been set to make the announcement. But when Vitale broke the news, he pulled back, and is now reconsidering. People in the business of breaking news will tell you that happens occasionally. That your report was true, but the subject of the report then recoiled and changed direction, thanks to your report.
I think that might’ve also been the case with the Les Miles-to-Michigan report from Kirk Herbstreit at the end of last season.
Knowing the immmeasurable size of Olson’s ego, he might just coach on now in order to try to embarrass Vitale and ESPN. Nothing shocks me with the guy. He’s already proven time after time that he has no shame. (Ask Kevin O’Neill and his former wife.)