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 problem.”
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.
He said he first heard the rumor a couple of weeks ago, then was asked about it after his weekly radio show on Tuesday.
“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 circulating.”
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
“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.”
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