ASU prez apologizes to Olson

By Jeff Sklar
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, February 16, 2004

ASU President Michael Crow apologized Friday to men's basketball head coach Lute Olson, who was taunted and cursed by Arizona State fans during a 93-74 UA win over the Sun Devils in Tempe last month.

Speaking to the UA President's Club Friday, Crow paused during a talk on the future of Arizona higher education to single out Olson, who had been introduced as a guest of honor earlier in the afternoon.

Crow called the fans' behavior "inappropriate" and "sophomoric," and joked about appropriate punishments.

"They don't let us use paddles anymore," Crow said.

The apology came about a month and a half after Olson became so fed up with profanity from the ASU student section that he pointed at the scoreboard when the Wildcats were leading by 26 points with about three minutes left in the game.

"They deserved that and more," Olson said after the game, which was the 700th win of his career. "I've put up with learning all kinds of words from (ASU fans) for years, and I thought, 'You probably should learn to keep your mouth closed when you're down 30-something.'"