The Dagger - NCAAB

After a swirl of rumors and reports and counterreports yesterday, it's official: Lute Olson is leaving Arizona basketball. So much for feeling "energized":

"This was not a decision that was made lightly," Olson said. "I've had a wonderful run at The University of Arizona. I leave with a great sense of pride in what we have accomplished here."

"At this stage in my life, I want to devote my time to my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends. I look forward to watching Wildcat basketball and visiting with my colleagues in the coaching profession. It is time to pass the program on to a younger staff, to transition the university to the next generation of basketball."

I try not to be cynical. I try to see the good in people, and to take them at their word. So maybe Olson really is tired of being Arizona's basketball coach. Maybe all of the health issues and bad season and his divorce and current engagement are just too much to handle. I understand.

But Olson is also under NCAA investigation for sending a letter encouraging boosters to cover camp expenses for prized recruits. Maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with Olsen's sudden lack of energy.

Arizona fans will probably be less forgiving. For them, this is their second straight season in which an extremely talented team could end up rudderless and unrefined. In other words, it could end up a waste, just like last year. And what about Chase Budinger, who could have been drafted in the Top 15 of the NBA Draft last year, decided to stay at Arizona for one more year. I wonder how he feels.

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