Arizona men's hoops head coach Lute Olson, in the middle of a fairly sub-par season of basketball, had to deny rumors that he had Parkinson's at his weekly press conference. Apparently the rumors began on radio when people started seeing the coach's hands shake.
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."Well, good for Lute -- that team needs him badly, and Arizona basketball isn't Arizona basketball without him. However, recruiting is cutthroat enough -- I can only imagine how bad it could be if schools started using the health of coaches to try and lure recruits away from football and basketball programs. Examples:
1) FSU and Penn State lose kids in football because kids realize Bobby Bowden and Joe Pa are actually senile by this point.
2) Charlie Weis and Phil Fulmer's weight is used against them -- "You don't want to head to a school where the head coach may be due for a heart attack or has high blood pressure, do you?" (Some might argue that Ron Zook dealt some cash under the table to Illinois recruits -- he'd probably be first to try the underhanded illness technique and remind recruits of his biceps.)
Any other examples you can think of?