The NCAA is responding to comments made by Lute Olson last week in which he called the investigation into Arizona's recruiting violations "a farce" and said investigators "had to satisfy their people in Indianapolis by coming up with something."
In a statement released on the NCAA's website, the NCAA denied the claim and noted that Olson had numerous opportunities to tell his side during the investigation, but failed to do so.
Former University of Arizona coach Lute Olson's recent comments regarding the NCAA's investigation into his basketball program are inaccurate and misleading. When the enforcement staff receives reliable information that a major rules violation has occurred, it must investigate and gather facts. The enforcement program is committed to fairness throughout this process and many times closes a case because investigators discover that no violations occurred.
Despite his public statements to the contrary, that simply was not the situation with the University of Arizona investigation, which included four major violations involving his basketball program. Olson had several opportunities to share his side of the story, but he repeatedly declined to do so. The enforcement staff requested an interview with him multiple times, all of which he turned down. Further, Olson did not respond to the charges in the Notice of Allegations and chose not to attend the Committee on Infractions hearing, which would have been two additional opportunities for him to state his case.
The violations committed under Olson resulted in the program being placed on probation. They were serious enough that Paul Dee, the chair of the NCAA's infractions committee, said in July in responding to reporters that issuing a show-cause penalty to Olson was not appropriate because he had already retired.
The NCAA decided to rule Olson had failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and moved on. Olson, meanwhile, apparently has not moved on, saying in that interview on RadioExiles.com, "that situation is not over yet because they deserve to have something thrown back at 'em."
It was a response the NCAA would not sit by and let go unchallenged.