Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Updated: March 2, 11:15 AM ET
Arizona coach denies Parkinson's rumor
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona's Lute Olson labeled speculation
that he has Parkinson's disease "a vicious, vicious rumor" that
is "totally false."
The 72-year-old coach brought up the subject at his weekly news
conference on Tuesday.
"I have gotten some calls about rumors and certain radio
stations running some things about me having Parkinson's, which is
a complete lie," Olson said. "I have physicals like everyone else
does. There is absolutely no medical indication of any type of
A member of the basketball Hall of Fame, Olson has a 779-278
record in 34 years as a college coach, including a 587-186 mark in
24 years at Arizona.
Olson was born on a farm outside Mayville, N.D., and played high
school basketball in Grand Forks, where he led his team to a state
He said he first heard the Parkinson's rumor a couple of weeks
ago, then was asked about it after his weekly radio show on
"There is absolutely no truth to that statement. If it has been
repeatedly on radio stations then I will take the necessary actions
that I need to get this stopped," he said. "It is a vicious,
vicious rumor. If I need to I will get my physician to make a
statement. I don't think anybody deserves that rumor to be
The rumors apparently began when people noticed Olson's hands
"I'm healthy," he told reporters after the news conference.
"When you get nervous, you start shaking a little. But most people
my age do."
He was concerned about what the rumor would do in the heated
competition for high school talent.
"This is the kind of thing you get from people you are
recruiting against," Olson said. "If the rumor is going around
here, it's certainly going to be passed around."
"I'm healthy. When you get nervous, you start shaking a little. But most people my age do."
-- Arizona coach Lute Olson