UA coaches' families endure angry duo: Cursing Duke rooters push Rosborough's wife

By Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star

MINNEAPOLIS - Fans in the stands had just as much trouble as players on the court during the UA's loss to Duke in the NCAA basketball championship last night at the Minneapolis Metrodome.

A pair of angry Duke fans cursed head coach Lute Olson's brother-in- law and pushed the wife of associate coach Jim Rosborough.

The fans were seated among members of the Tucson coaches' families.

"They were bad-mouthing us all game," said Fred Tripp of Minneapolis, husband of Olson's sister, Kathleen Tripp.

The Duke fans' main beef, according to Tripp and other fans, was that the Arizona fans kept standing up.

"I said, 'I've been coming to these games 19 years and I've never seen a fan as bad as you," Tripp said. "That's when he came at me."

That time, someone restrained the Duke supporter.

Then, soon after the final buzzer, the other Duke fan - a woman - shoved Kim Rosborough.

The Rosboroughs' son stood on a seat and screamed at the pair as they left.

"It wasn't anything," Kim Rosborough said afterward.

But the section reserved for the Wildcats' families was buzzing about the ill-mannered couple.

The section was also buzzing about officiating.

"They had eight against five," complained Meekness LeCato, mother of Wildcat forward Richard Jefferson. "It was very bad officiating."

"He had a great game," LeCato said. "It was the refs that didn't have a great game."

As the Duke players received their trophy on the court of the Metrodome, John Jackson, Rosborough's brother-in-law, said, "They ought to put the refs up there on the stage with them."

The view wasn't so good for many Wildcat fans, either.

Two swaths of Arizona supporters occupied opposite corners of the Metrodome.

Those surrounding the UA band on the lower level could practically hear the squeaks of the players' shoes. Then there were the 1,500 or so in Section 223.

UA football player Brad Brennan was one of them. He had a seat in Row 31, highest in the stadium and 116 steps above the Metrodome's street entrance.

"We're up in the rafters, literally," Brennan said, pounding on an air duct.

Others liked the seats.

"They've been awesome," said UA alum Kristy Stark. "It's a good view."

Sportscaster Dana Cooper, who put aside his notebook and enjoyed the Final Four win over Michigan State on Saturday as a fan, pulled the notebook out again last night.

The Saturday game was the first in 13 years in the business where Cooper set out to just enjoy the contest.

Cheering, taboo among sports reporters, didn't come naturally to the former host of the Lute Olson weekly television show and now host of other local sports shows on TV and radio.

But he managed to break out in the second half, when the UA went on a 12-0 run. Then last night, with things going badly for Arizona, Cooper brought his game face again.

He borrowed a pen, pulled out a yellow note pad and started scribbling: "I'm putting down plays that I'm going to want to use on my radio show tomorrow night," he said.

No one suffered on the sidelines more than coach Olson.

Son-in-law John Brase of Tucson, husband of Olson's daughter Jody, said the coach probably wouldn't sleep last night.

"He'll be upset," Brase said.

"We'll meet back in his room. We'll be there as a family. We'll talk all night."

The disappointment will pass, Brase added.

"The sun will come up tomorrow. Maybe not in Minneapolis, but it will come up."