The Harassment of Billy Gillispie by that Coward the NABC

Posted by rtmsf on September 30th, 2008

For the second time since last spring’s Mario Miracle, the NABC has put out a statement that squarely fixes its crosshairs on Kentucky’s second-year coach, Billy Gillispie.  Certainly you remember the June directive the NABC made to stop recruiting junior high players in the wake of the media firestorm over Gillispie’s recruiting of 8th grader Michael Avery.  We wrote at the time:

Luckily, this may be a situation where coaches were doing it because they felt they needed to avoid a competitive disadvantage.  Now that the NABC has effectively disavowed this as a strategy (although it is still legal), coaches [including Gillispie] appear to be supportive of the line-drawing.

(Ed Note:  apparently another Billy, as in Billy Donovan, didn’t get that memo from the NABC.)Andy Katz now reports on his blog today that the NABC put forth a new statement yesterday that admonishes coaches for using their early autumn ‘skill development’ time (2 hours/week) prior to full practices for recruiting purposes.  More specifically, they don’t want schools to bump up their Midnight Madness festivities to a preceding weekend so as to take advantage of a more favorable recruiting scenario (i.e., big football game on campus, local stripper convention, the fact that nobody else is having Midnight Madness that weekend).  Why is this important now?  Because Kentucky and Illinois (with its gimmicky outdoor practice) are planning on having their Midnight Madnesses a week prior to the ‘official’ start of practice.  The NABC statement (via Katz):

The NABC board of directors said that “skill development events should not be open to the public.” The NABC said the initial intent was for coaches to assist their players in skill development and create stronger relationships. But by “making such skill development sessions public events, they appear to be geared more for recruiting than skill development sessions.”

Coach Gillispie, godlovehim, just cannot resist pushing the envelope when it comes to the NCAA rulebook.  We’re not saying that he’s breaking any rules – hell, we’re not even saying that he’s bending them – but like any fastidious attorney, he manages to consistently find the gray nether-regions where legislative intent meets bright-line rule, and he forces those in charge to make decisions.

Bring It On, NABC!  (photo credit: AP/Ed Reinke)

Our take on these early Midnight Madness celebrations is such: we tend to like orderliness when it comes to college hoops, as in…  we’d like to know with assurance when Opening Night will be or when the Final Four will be.  So we’re 100% in agreement with the NABC on this one – can’t we just all agree to have Midnight Madness on the same night, and preferably, AT MIDNIGHT?  If the NCAA has to mandate this, so be it – add another page to the 17-lb rulebook.   

Update (10/1): Jeff Goodman weighs in with this background information about the NABC:

Word is that there were numerous coaches on a conference call who were less than thrilled with Gillispie’s decision. They feel that the NCAA allows the coaches the two hours per week for skill development and Gillispie is taking advantage of the rule.  It was the unanimous decision of the Board that skill development events should not be open to the public.

Share this story

IU Responds to NCAA: That Kelvin Sampson is a Baaaaad Man!

Posted by rtmsf on September 29th, 2008

You really gotta love FOIA.  It allows regular folks access to primary and secondary sources that we otherwise would only hear about through reporters, and who knows if those bozos can be trusted to get it right.  (ed. note: we realize of course that the AP in this case submitted the FOIA request; the point here is meant to be that we don’t have to trust what the AP reporters said about the docs, we can look at them ourselves and draw our own conclusions)

 

Using FOIA, today the AP released Indiana’s response to the NCAA on the allegation that the school failed to monitor Kelvin Sampson and his staff given his ample history of playing a little loosey-goosey with phone calls to recruits.  From the Hoosier Scoop:

Most of what the university’s lawyers state is this letter is reiteration, often with greater evidence or a different emphasis. There’s not a lot of new news.  The executive summary of primary arguments, found on page four, does its job nicely. Both because it outlines IU’s argument and captures the general tenor of the response: just because we didn’t find the calls right away doesn’t mean we weren’t monitoring and . . . Please believe us!  IU states that it’s compliance measures far exceeded those of similar institutions, and that only four of the impermissible calls could have been caught by those measures (even though they eventually were caught by an intern, a fact IU puffs its chest about repeatedly.) The rest of the calls, it claims, were purposefully hidden by the coaches, and would have evaded even the most stringent monitoring efforts.  That’s really the crux of the argument.  As it has been for some time.

Classic CYA here.  It wasn’t our fault, it was all the guy’s fault who we threw under the bus and who is no longer accountable to us!  We did our best but he and his minions were simply too nefarious in their evil dealings! 

The docs:

Quickly looking through some of the exhibits, two things came to mind.  First, when ripping someone at another school by using quotes to discredit their statements, you might want to remember that all emails at a public university are subject to public disclosure.  Hello, Jennifer Hooker Brinegar!  We’re assuming that Oklahoma’s Melanie Roberts is off this year’s Xmas card list.  (see exh. 2, #33)  Secondly, look at the names (see exh. 1, #29)  of the recruits who Sampson and his staff used up all their phone violations on – Bud Mackey (prison), DeJuan Blair (PIttsburgh), Robbie Hummell (Purdue), Demetri McCarney (Illinois) – not a one ended up at Indiana.  Talk about zero return on your investment!

If nothing else, this long Hoosier nightmare appears to be finally reaching an end.  Whether IU gets additionally screwed or not is up to the NCAA brass, but really, how much worse could they be in 2008-09?  Isn’t Kyle Taber and crew punishment enough?

Share this story

09.29.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 29th, 2008

Are the leaves changing colors in your town?  We’re less than three weeks until Midnight Madness…

  • Santa Clara center John Bryant, the WCC’s leading returner in rebounds and blocks (and second in scoring), was literally stabbed in the back this weekend.  He is expected to make a full recovery.   
  • Andy Katz takes a look at three teams he expects are ready to rise again this season – Ohio St., Nevada, Wake Forest.
  • The NYT reports that Tommy Amaker is continuing to make friends at Harvard.
  • Pitt’s Jamie Dixon proves that unproven commodities who are bright and work hard can be just as (if not more) successful than the old retreads.  Why does that sound strangely familiar?  Another one of those unknown coaches, Wright St.’s Brad Brownell, was profiled by HoopWise as well.
  • UCLA’s stalwart Darren Collison says he’s back in Westwood to win that elusive national title.
  • Jeff Goodman puts a gun to the head of two top recruiting gurus and forces them to predict where the 2009 Top 10 prospects will end up.  If true, Memphis will be scary good in 2010.
  • Siena is seeking to become the new Gonzaga, er, Davidson. 

Share this story

Former Oklahoma Great Wayman Tisdale Loses a Leg

Posted by rtmsf on September 28th, 2008

Sad news from Norman last night as former Oklahoma great Wayman Tisdale announced at the OU-TCU football game (via video message) that he is recovering well after a recent surgery requiring doctors to amputate part of his right leg.  They discovered cancer below his knee last year after he had broken that leg in a fall at his home.  On the one hand, we’re glad to hear that he’s doing well after surgery, but we’re disheartened to hear that such a seemingly nice guy who is still quite young is dealing with a very serious form of cancer.  Regardless, it got us to thinking about Tisdale.

Tisdale Was Unstoppable at Oklahoma

While many people may remember Tisdale’s twelve seasons in the NBA as a serviceable big man with a 15/6 average, we always envision him in a blood red SOONERS jersey laying waste to the Big 8 during his three years in Norman.  Seriously, Tisdale invented the word “beast” with his play on the low blocks at Oklahoma.  Playing in an era (1982-85) when freshmen weren’t typically the best players on the team, Tisdale walked onto campus and immediately started dropping double-doubles (25/10) on anybody who got in his way, becoming the first freshman AP All-American in the history of the game.  He carried that average throughout his three year OU career (first team all-american each year), leading the Sooners to two Big 8 regular season titles and one tournament title as Oklahoma became ascended to national prominence under Billy Tubbs.  In fact, Tisdale remains the all-time leader in points scored as a Sooner, with 2,661 in his career.

Music Was Always Tisdale’s Truest Passion  (photo credit:  waymantisdale.com)

We always wondered what Tisdale could have done if he had been completely focused on basketball, because as it turned out, Tisdale’s other consuming passion of contemporary jazz has arguably made him more well-known in that arena than he ever was as a hoopster.  Has any athlete ever been so accomplished in two completely different worlds as Wayman Tisdale?  In addition to recording eight solo albums in the genre, he’s had several #1 hit records, numerous top ten albums and was named the Bassist of the Year in 2002 by the National Smooth Jazz Awards. 

Take a listen to his triumphant return in the YouTube video below, and check out the music at the end of the clip.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Best of luck to Wayman as he fights to stay cancer-free. 

Share this story

Great West Conference: Another Play-In Game on the Horizon

Posted by rtmsf on September 27th, 2008

Several sources today are announcing the formation of the 32d Division 1 league, the Great West Conference, which will begin organized basketball operations in the 2009-10 season.  You may recall that the GWC already exists in football as a transitional league between D2 and D1-AA (or whatever they’re calling it now).  The basketball counterparts at most of these schools have largely been relegated to the dreaded Independent status, which forces those teams to schedule games anytime, anywhere, anyplace, in order to complete a full schedule.  One of these teams, the much-maligned New Jersey Tech, made infamy last year with an 0-29 season, earning the lowest Sagarin rating (46.91) of the past several years.

Frankly, despite the league’s spin on the matter, reading down a list of these schools sounds a little like something out of the American Chiropractic Colleges Association manual.  Houston Baptist, Texas-Pan American, New Jersey Tech, Utah Valley, North AND South Dakota. Not to mention the fact that with two Texas schools, a Utah school, two Dakota schools and a freakin NEW JERSEY school, this new league is all over the place (Cal Poly, UC-Davis and Southern Utah, each of whom play in the football version of the GWC, are not expected to leave their basketball conferences – the Big West x2 and Summit, respectively).

In fact, looking at the map below, this “Great West” conference is 2,194 miles from east to west, 1,639 miles from north to south, and if you decided to drive the circuit between all six schools, it would take you through 22 states, 6,540 miles and approximately 41 Waffle Houses.  Oh, and only one team is even in a “western” time zone, with UVU in MST.

So what’s really going on here?  Of course, money.  The GWC is attempting to become the 32d league that gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and while that may be a decade away (fulfilling all the requirements would take until 2020), Kyle Whelliston thinks that’s a possibility.

NCAA men’s basketball rules require conferences to pass a three-step eligibility check for auto-bid qualification: at least seven fully fledged Div. I members, seven that have been Div. I for at least eight years (known as “core members”), and six core members who have been league mates for five years. The current membership wouldn’t meet all of those guidelines until the year 2020.

You can rest assured that if the GWC eventually gets an automatic bid that the NCAA won’t take away one of the current 34 at-large bids, so the natural response would probably be to add another play-in game to the scorecard.  That would allow for two more teams to “make” the dance, and it would balance the brackets on both sides.  While this makes economic sense from an NCAA Tournament perspective, it’ll end up minimizing the achievements of the MEAC, SWAC and other league champions that have gotten accustomed to playing in the “real thing” on Thursday like everyone else.

And what happens to everyone’s bracket if one of these teams actually beats a #1 seed one of these days?

Share this story

Rocky Top Raccoon

Posted by rtmsf on September 26th, 2008

Between Bruce Pearl and Pat Summitt, UT basketball is the gift that keeps on giving.  From Forbes (h/t Deadspin):

Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt had offseason shoulder surgery, not for a sports injury but because of a tussle with a raccoon.  The winningest basketball coach in NCAA history had problems with her right shoulder after dislocating it while chasing a raccoon poised to attack her Labrador. The attack came near her home on March 5, just days before the Southeastern Conference tournament.  A month later, Summitt guided the Lady Vols to their eighth NCAA title.

Labs are pretty big dogs – it’s odd that Summitt would feel the need to chase down a raccoon…  Of course, maybe she remembers what happened to Vol Mascot Smokey VII

Oh, ok. 

Share this story

09.25.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 25th, 2008

It’s officially Autumn, which means cooler air is around the corner and the sweet cacophany of bouncing basketballs echoing through a gymnasium is coming…

  • Dana O’Neil gives a pretty good roundup of injured players who are either all the way healed or expected to be so by the time the meat of the season begins.  One of those players, Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf, is back from an ACL injury with another year of eligibility in tow.  Another, Alabama’s Ronald Steele, is a hard-luck guy who RTC is hoping catches a few breaks this year – he deserves it. 
  • Tubby Smith’s nephew, William L. Smith, was stabbed and killed last weekend at an off-campus apartment complex in Worcester, Mass. 
  • UConn’s Nate Miles, he of the five high schools, was arrested for violating a restraining order.  We’re shocked, I tell you, that Jim Calhoun’s charge is acting up!  Shocked! 
  • Jamie Dixon‘s deal with Pitt has been extended through the 2016 season at a minimum of $1.3M per annum.
  • Remember Pierre Pierce?  The former Iowa star who spent 11 months in prison for a multitude of charges will be allowed to serve his probation in France while playing professional basketball there this winter. 
  • Here are six teams to watch in the 08-09 season seeking to break long NCAA droughts.
  • More Stephen Curry.  The Wooden Tradition, not to be confused with the Wooden Classic (UCLA v. Depaul; San Diego St. v. St. Mary’s), will feature Purdue v. Davidson and St. Mary’s v. S. Illinois on Dec. 19 in Indianapolis.  In case you were wondering how the new Mr. March spent his summer, click here
  • HoopsAddict has it’s All-Americans out – Tyrese Rice over Darren Collison is a weak call. 
Share this story

This is a Good Idea. Thanks, ESPN.

Posted by rtmsf on September 24th, 2008

It’s no secret that we’ve had our issues with the WWL over the last few years, but if you remove its Disneyfied cross-promotional garbage and the regrettably unwatchable Sportscenter, there’s still no better existing production value when it comes to the actual broadcast of games.  And lots of them.  A fair argument can be made that ESPN has done more for the popularity of college basketball since its inception than any other entity, media or otherwise.  Most everyone we know grew up watching Big East or ACC games on ESPN in the 80s and 90s, and as we all know, prior to ESPN’s existence, the NCAA Tournament was largely shown on tape-delay. 

What we’re getting at is that ESPN and college hoops have a long and prosperous history together, and it’s nice to see that continue in the modern era of sports specialization.  With that said, we wanted to point out that ESPN’s decision released today to have an “Opening Day” extravaganza of college basketball is nothing short of brilliant.  We’ve also often bemoaned the fact that, unlike nearly every other major American sport, college hoops really doesn’t have a “start” date.  The season begins when teams start playing in random tournaments sometime in November, and most people are surprised to learn that college hoops has started when they see a Purdue-Florida Intl. score on a random Tuesday night along the bottom line scroll. 

ESPN’s big day of hoops on Nov. 18 (which, interestingly, is a Tuesday and will have no competition with football) will at least make certain that the general sports nation is aware that college basketball is back and people should start taking notice.  Some of the very best nonconference matchups occur in late November and early December while most folks are still paying attention to a handful of teams on the college gridiron, so from a marketing perpective, the initiation of a huge day of solid to good basketball games to “kick off” the season’s coverage is a winner.  We also love how they’re making use of all the time zones to approximate a full 24 hours of coverage.  The schedule is below. 

The hoops bonanza scheduled for ESPN networks on Nov. 18 (all times ET).

• Midnight: UMass at Memphis (ESPN)
• 2 a.m.: Fresno St. at St. Mary’s (ESPN)
• 4 a.m.: Idaho St. at Hawaii (ESPN)
• 6 a.m.: College Hoops Tip-Off Special (ESPN)
• 10 a.m.: Penn at Drexel (ESPN)
• Noon: Liberty at UNC-Asheville (ESPN)
• 2 p.m.: Iowa at Kansas (women) (ESPN)
• 4 p.m.: Centenary at Baylor (ESPN)
• 6 p.m.: Richmond at Syracuse (ESPN)
• 7 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Purdue (ESPNU)
• 7:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Boston College (ESPN2)
• 8 p.m.: College GameDay-Chapel Hill (ESPN)
• 9 p.m.: Kentucky at North Carolina (ESPN)
• 9 p.m.: Florida Gulf Coast at Kansas (ESPNU)
• 9:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Oklahoma (ESPN2)
• 11:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Arizona (ESPN2)

Share this story

09.18.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 18th, 2008

Wouldn’t it be nice if this were Oct. 19 instead of Sept. 19?

  • Which Great White Hope is actually a better player? – maybe we’ll delve into that sometime soon.  Gary Parrish takes a look now.
  • The seemingly snakebitten AJ Price from UConn is supposedly all the way back from offseason ACL surgery.  In completely unrelated news, UConn has added Lojack to all of its campus laptops. 
  • In a somewhat odd twist, the NCAA directed Indiana to delay its response to the latest allegations from the Kelvin Sanctions scandal last spring.  The university now has until Sept. 26 to craft its response.  Someone go on vacation?
  • Seth Davis writes a pretty good recount of what five teams – Kansas, Missouri, Purdue, S. Illinois and Notre Dame – did on their Labor Day weekend trips.
  • Remember Illinois guard Jamar Smith? – he received 18 months probation for his alcohol violation stemming from his DUI arrest last spring.  He plans to play for S. Indiana next season (yeah, that’s what we said too).
Share this story

Who Will Benefit From the Longer 3-point Line in 08-09?

Posted by rtmsf on September 17th, 2008

As you all know, the 2008-09 season will feature a three-point line that is one foot longer than it has been for the last twenty years, moving from the standard top-of-the-key 19 feet, 9 inches that every fifth grader can hit, to the comically tweenerish 20 feet, 9 inches, which is sure to cause mass hysteria and confusion among players, coaches and referees on courts with both the men’s and women’s lines (the women are staying at 19’9″).   In other words, most of the courts in D1 basketball. 

So if someone such as us wanted to take a stab at analyzing what teams this rule change might most impact, how should we approach it?  Here’s the set of assumptions that inform our admittedly unscientific hypothesis – feel free to call us on it in the comments if you like. 

Hypothesis:  Teams that have a large differential in their home/away three-point shooting percentages are likely to have fewer “pure” shooters and therefore will be most negatively impacted by the one-foot longer three-point line next season. 

Assumptions:

  • We’re assuming that all team three-point percentages should decrease with the longer distance.
  • Teams with “pure” shooters should have high relative three-point percentages no matter where they shoot the ball – home or away (think back to Hickory High in Hoosiers – the rim is still ten feet no matter what gym you’re in).
  • There will be a natural dropoff in most team three-point percentages on the road because of adverse conditions, but good shooting teams will remain good shooting teams.  Teams with questionable shooters will show a marked decrease between their home and road three-point percentages.  
  • We admit, given turnover of players from season to season, that the predictive value of analyzing 07-08 data on the 08-09 season is tenuous at best. 

Anyway, here goes…  our first chart shows the best three-point shooting teams last year (>38% 3FG) that had large differentials (>6%) between its home and away games.  If our theory holds, these teams could be most vulnerable to the longer three-point line in 2008-09.  Wow, Temple!

The teams in our next chart were also good three-point shooting teams, but they didn’t have nearly as much of a differential (< 4%) between their home and away games.  Again, if our theory holds, we’d expect that these teams won’t be as negatively impacted by the longer line this year – these guys can shoot it consistently under any condition.

Our final chart is just thrown in are, um, the exceptions that prove the rule?  These teams had significant differences between home and away three-point percentages, alright, it’s only that they shot the ball astronomically better on the road than at home.  We have no idea what conclusions to draw from this, so we just called them anomalies (which they are, representing a handful of teams). 

Frankly, we realize that our theory has some holes in it, but maybe we’re just not seeing the total picture here.  That’s what you guys are for.  Thoughts?

Update:  KJ at spartansweblog.com referred us to KenPom’s data set on shot selection and the accompanying percentages at each distance – we only wish we had access to that data.  If the graph is correct, it tells us that an average team may not see much difference in the 3FG% with the new line.  However, it doesn’t tell us much about how good-shooting teams might react.  Nevertheless, good find and more fodder for discussion.

Share this story

No, Not THAT Tom Green

Posted by rtmsf on September 17th, 2008

Ray Floriani is the RTC correspondent for the Northeast Conference and an occasional contributor.

In the pressure packed world of college coaching a 25-year career is a rarity these days. Twenty five years at one school ? You can almost forget it, except in the case of Tom Green. The Fairleigh Dickinson mentor, who won his 400th  game late last season, is entering his 26th year at the Northeast Conference school. Green is the winningest coach in NEC history. It’s not even close.

 

Tom Green – Longtime Coach of FDU (photo credit:  FDUKnights.com)

 

His conference record stands at 257-177, a distant lead over second place Ron Ganulin, who won 129 conference games at St.Francis (NY) from 1991 through 2005. Green is also the NEC pacesetter with 26 conference tournament wins. All told, FDU has reached the NEC semis in 16 of his 25 years and captured four conference post season titles and ensuing NCAA Tournament bids (1985, 1988, 1998 and 2005).

 

A legacy of success which includes seven 20-win seasons has brought opportunities at other schools. In the past, Green has flirted with other institutions. Each time he felt the Northern New Jersey school was his best fit.

 

What is his secret of the program’s excellent track record ? For one thing , flexibility. He is able to adjust to the talents of his players. He will push the ball if he has to and play at a slower pace if need be. Last season an injury decimated squad finished up an uncharacteristic 8-20. The coach and staff went over tape and spent hours coming up with combination and ‘junk’ defenses to try to remain competitive.  Another factor is discipline, but not the yelling and screaming type. Green doesn’t need that, and still his players know who is in charge. Discipline is evident as FDU rarely beats themselves. They are well drilled in their system.

 

FDU has made the NCAA Tournament in each of those aforementioned NEC title years. Each time the top or #2 seed has never rested easy against the bottom seed Knights. Green’s teams are extremely well prepared and play hard.  Most recently, in 2005, FDU gave top-seeded (and eventual national runner-up) all it wanted in its first round game before losing 67-55 (see highlight below). 

 

Tom Green will not win a national championship at FDU. Regardless, the former Syracuse guard can take solace in knowing he probably assisted on one. In 1985 his FDU team took top seeded Michigan to the wire, eventually losing 59-55. Villanova coaches were scouting that game and noticed the Knights exposed a few weaknesses in their Big Ten opponents. Two days later Villanova upset Michigan in the second round of their championship run.

 

Interestingly, Jim Boeheim and Green shared an apartment when they began as Syracuse assistants. Boeheim has been at Syracuse over three decades, Green a quarter of a century at FDU. Neither seems in a hurry to leave, which is good news to their respective schools and fans.

 

 

 

Share this story

The Lute Olson Circus Continues…

Posted by rtmsf on September 16th, 2008

It’s no secret around these parts that Lute Olson has experienced a volatile year since he decided to take a leave of absence from his Arizona Wildcats last November.  There were already the rampant rumors that Olson was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, or at minimum, some other undisclosed health issue, accompanied by the not-so-private saga involving a divorce from his second wife, Christine.  Throw in the embarassingly open secret that Olson was unhappy with his replacement, Kevin O’Neill, in addition to the loss of several key players either in or coming into the program (Jerryd Bayless, Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Negedu) and it’s safe to say that the Silver Fox had a stressful year.  All that said, Olson has gone on record to exuberantly state that he expects to remain the coach at Arizona at least through his current contract, ending in 2011. 

Happier Times for Lute and Christine Olson  (photo credit:  azstarnet.com)

Well why not? – so long as you intend to wilfully flout the NCAA rulebook in an attempt to get recruits to Tucson.  From the AP report

The University of Arizona has reported a possible NCAA recruiting violation by men’s basketball coach Lute Olson, who called it “an unfortunate and regrettable error.”  Athletic director Jim Livengood said Monday that Olson had sent a letter to basketball boosters asking for a donation to Jim Storey’s Arizona Cactus Classic basketball tournament, held last May at Arizona’s McKale Center. NCAA rules prohibit institutional representatives or boosters from arranging financial assistance for potential recruits.  “A ‘personal and confidential’ letter was sent to Rebounders Club board of directors over the electronic signature of Lute Olson, requesting that they provide financial assistance to Jim Storey’s Cactus Classic AAU Tournament,” Livengood said in a July 2 letter to Ron Barker, Pac-10 associate commissioner in charge of governance and enforcement. “The letter expressed how important this tournament is to the Arizona basketball program’s recruiting. The letter also stated (correctly) that ‘The athletics department can’t assist in any way.’ Which would include requesting that donors make financial contributions.”

Forget the one-and-dones, Olson has apparently decided that he will simply have his boosters finance players into Tucson.  (sidenote: the #2 PG in the class of 2009, Abdul Gaddy, also commited to the Wildcat program today – was he at this camp?).   

To be fair, Olson disabused reporters of the notion that he knew anything about this letter, which had an electronic signature on it.  Yet numerous poeople within in the program have gone on the record to state that Olson wanted this letter sent out.  Some Arizona fans are suggesting this is a setup propagated by the AD, Jim Livengood, who (the assumption goes) wants the powerful Olson out of the picture.

There’s one thing we can remain certain about – the Lute Olson stories are getting exponentially more interesting the older he gets.  Stay tuned for more out of the desert.   

Share this story