Plans to finish contract with university

Oregon State Athletic Director Bob De Carolis is in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

De Carolis, 58, was diagnosed in June. Earlier this month, he informed members of the OSU athletic department during a staff meeting.

'There were concerns about my health related to my (November) neck surgery,' De Carolis said Monday. 'Once I found out what we were dealing with, I decided to get the mystery speculation out of the way.'

De Carolis said he first noticed symptoms about three years ago as he was going through the process of hiring Craig Robinson as basketball coach.

'I was getting a little bit of shake in my left hand,' De Carolis said. 'I was losing a little coordination. I figured it was a result of stress. From that, I started having neck pain going down to my shoulder and my hand.'

An MRI showed De Carolis had cervical stenosis of the spine. Doctors hoped the November surgery would take care of the AD's symptoms.

'After three months of not getting better, we decided there was something else going on,' De Carolis said. 'I had a sneaking suspicion it might be Parkinson's.'

De Carolis, who recently signed a contract extension that carries through 2016, doesn't expect the disease to affect his work responsibilities. He is not yet 'at the medication stage,' focusing on exercise and diet to control his symptoms.

'It's a great excuse to lose weight and get in shape,' he said.

De Carolis intends to reach out to former Trail Blazer Brian Grant, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's 2 1/2 years ago and has formed a foundation to help fight the disease.

'I want to learn what he is going through,' De Carolis said. 'I'd like to use whatever little notoriety I have to work with his foundation and do what I can to help.'

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