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Tuesday, January 9, 2001
Edgerson upset over playing time

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona co-captain Gene Edgerson, apparently upset over a lack of playing time, has been told by acting coach Jim Rosborough to stay home while the Wildcats travel to Washington and Washington State this week.

"This morning I asked Gene to take off the rest of the week and over the weekend to do some self-evaluation of what he wants and needs out of this season," Rosborough said Tuesday.

Asked what Edgerson's reaction was, Rosborough said, "He didn't like it."

Rosborough, filling in for coach Lute Olson following the death of Olson's wife, said he would meet with Edgerson Monday to talk about his future in the program.

"I hope we can come to a positive resolution," Rosborough said.

Edgerson, a fifth-year senior forward known as a rugged rebounder and fiery team leader, played as a freshman on the 1997 national championship team.

He was a redshirt last season while he completed requirements for his teaching degree.

Edgerson, a popular player with his trademark Afro hairstyle a la Artis Gilmore, made it clear that he came back only because he felt he could help the Wildcats earn another title.

But Arizona, the No. 1 team in the preseason, has sputtered to an 8-5 record and tumbled to No. 21 in the latest rankings.

Edgerson has played in all 13 games, but has averaged just 13.5 minutes. He is averaging 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

His teammates elected him and fellow seniors Loren Woods and Justin Wessel co-captains last week.

Rosborough did not say specifically what led to his decision to ask Edgerson to temporarily leave the team.

"There have been some things that have been a concern that maybe have come to a head," Rosborough said. "I think it's time for Gene to evaluate. Is this too frustrating for him? Is it too frustrating that he's not going to have 24-25 minutes a game?"

Edgerson did not practice with the team Tuesday and would not on Wednesday, Rosborough said.

The incident is the latest distraction in what has been an emotional season for the Wildcats.

Bobbi Olson, the coach's wife of 47 years and a loving mother figure to the players over the years, died last week of cancer. Olson has taken an indefinite leave of absence to mourn her loss.

Rosborough said he spoke to Olson about his decision regarding Edgerson.

"I wanted him aware of it," Rosborough said. "I explained the situation to him and his response, as it has been on all of this, was 'Jim, it's your club. Do what you have to do.' "

Edgerson, who already has his education degree, has indicated he wants to play in Europe before beginning his teaching career.

Rosborough said he has great admiration for the way Edgerson has completed his education and sympathizes with his situation, but his playing time is not going to increase unless there is an injury or some other personnel problem.

"There are only so many minutes to go around," Rosborough said. "I know that frustrates Gene, but those are the facts of life."
At Bobbi Olson memorial service: 'Mrs. O meant so much to all of us'  HELP |  ADVERTISER INFO |  CONTACT US |  TOOLS |  SITE MAP
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