Lute Olson's Back And Surly Like A Fox

The University of Arizona has its long-standing head basketball coach back on the bench, but he apparently upped his prickliness quotient during his season-long leave of absence . First order of business? Fire the guy who kept the ship afloat while you were gone. Kevin O'Neill, who was at one point penciled in as permanent head coach if the Silver Fox couldn't get his silvery shit together, was given these favorable options from Olson:

"I said, 'Do you want to be an assistant for three more years or five more years? He said, 'No.'"

Olson's 48-minute press conference was reportedly stand-offish, blunt and a little confrontational as the media attempted to get some answers about why exactly the coach needed to take off so much time:

Frankly, even though I realize I'm a public figure, I don't think I need to go into every nuance of my private life. There were things going on in my life that did create some health issues that I needed time to address. But it was not a health scare."

Um, you kind of do, coach. Not every nuance, but perhaps you could offer a little bit of self-deprecation or enthusiasm toward the media and the fanbase that respectfully backed off of your ugly marital turmoil the whole time you were having your end-of-life crisis. And even though the coach said yesterday that he's "excited" to be back (but didn't act like it ), the only question really left to answer is this: Is Arizona excited to have him back?

'Zona's Olson Spars With Media [SI]
Olson: O'Neill Out [Wildcat Online]