Jim Livengood was on his way to a fundraiser when his cell phone rang.
And then it rang again. And again. And ...
|Lute Olson has so much happening off the court, it's enough to make your head hurt. (Getty Images)|
The coach is Lute Olson.
Perhaps you have heard him.
Without warning, he called into a local radio station two Fridays ago to talk about his divorce proceedings. Minutes later, his estranged wife, Christine Olson, rang the same show, and it's a shame Howard Stern didn't get a piece of these interviews. Or Jerry Springer even. Because I tell you, this is perfect material for those guys -- an ongoing and ever-changing reality series playing out in a very public way, kinda like a senior citizen's version of The Hills.
(Are you Team Lute or Team Christine?)
It's a circus by any standard.
Which makes Livengood the ringmaster.
So I called to get the ringmaster's reaction.
"My reaction is there's a part of me that understands what Lute is all about, trying to explain things because the rumor mill is running rampant," Livengood said by phone. "But my reaction also is, 'Guys, is there any way we can get this on a little bit more low-key?'"
Good luck with that.
It really is difficult not to feel badly for Livengood. He has been the AD at Arizona since 1994 and no extended period has been tougher than the one he is currently enduring. His marquee sport -- Wildcats basketball -- is going through turbulent times that kinda started when Arizona blew that 15-point lead to Illinois in the Elite Eight of the 2005 NCAA tournament but really picked up when Olson took a leave of absence in November 2007.