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What's wrong with Notre Dame?

Dec 3, 2009, 11:00 AM EDT

Time Magazine isn’t the place you’d usually look to find valuable insight on the plight of Notre Dame football. Yet, even the venerable magazine took the time to weigh in on the plight of the Fighting Irish football team.

Here are a few snippets from the article, slightly amended by me:

What’s wrong with Notre Dame?

Notre Dame’s winning football tradition began in the ’20’s. As the
glory years rolled on, the teams in the bright green jerseys acquired
an air of invincibility. Football fans who had never been in Indiana,
much less in South Bend, adopted the team and learned to cheer, cheer
for old Notre Dame. In recent years the cheers were mingled with an
occasional catcall, for Notre Dame was running into trouble. So what is
wrong with Notre Dame?

One of the changes is the fact that far fewer Catholic high-school
football stars automatically long to go to Notre Dame. Too many other
schools with bright new reputations are making too many good offers.
Rival recruiters score points by warning boys that Notre Dame’s
strait-laced supervision eliminates a carefree campus life; e.g.,
freshmen have a 10 p.m. curfew. After one mauling of Notre Dame this
year, a Chicago priest cracked to a Protestant friend: “I didn’t mind
so much that the lad was kicking those extra points against Notre Dame,
but I did mind his crossing himself before each one.”

Caught between a tough schedule and tough academic standards, Weis
may be able to produce an occasional good season, but the golden days
of Notre Dame are likely to be gone forever. One thing is certain: Weis, who can return to the pros at any time, will never be content
merely to lose honorably at Notre Dame. Says he: “I will not coach a
team unless it has the potential to be great.”

  1. Terry - Dec 3, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    Brian Kelly (Cincinatti)or Butch Davis (North Carolina)
    Preferred – Butch Davis

  2. FJC1109 - Dec 4, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Well done.
    From 1963-1993 by my count ND has won 4 national titles (66, 73, 78, and 88) and been in the hunt at least a half a dozen more times and has been a BCS caliber team at least four additional years in the 1960-2000 cycle. Any program would term that a success. The problem has been the Irish fortunes (or lack thereof) in this decade.
    33 years
    4 national titles
    6 times in the hunt
    4 more more times BCS caliber
    Not a bad 30 year record
    2000-2009 – 0000000

  3. irishfanintx - Dec 5, 2009 at 2:37 AM

    FJC1109-and if memory serves me correct, they should have had another one in ’93 that went to Fla. State. ND and Fla. State each had one loss that year. Even though the Irish defeated them on their on turf, ND lost to BC the following week. Rationale amongst the pollsters was that ND lost later in the season the Fla. State did and to a lesser ranked team. Fla St beat Nebraska and ND beat Texas A&M in their bowl games.

  4. Aaron - Dec 6, 2009 at 12:16 AM

    I’m sorry you don’t like it that the same old hinders (recruiting, coaching, academic standards) keep ND from being an elite program. But the the reality is those are the reasons. You can also throw in the fact that the adminstration wantes to make ND into an Ivy League school! ND “BULLIES” second tier programs into playing them so the football team can have a winning season (against second tier teams) to keep the alumni and faithful off their backs!Also, you need a coach who knows what the HELL they are doing! I mean a good, self proven college coach like Myer, Saba, or Stoops! No up or coming coach with no proven coaching experience like Kelly, Harbaugh, or Riley! As far as the schedule is concern…..bring it on (the best)! This watered down schedule is CRAP!

  5. TBoneND - Dec 6, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    I am growing weary of fans or flamers complaining of the soft schedule ND has.
    The Sagrin SOS has ND at the 28th most difficult schedule, one place behind Florida and ahead of Texas 44, TCU 84, Cinncinati 63, Boise State 98, Ohio State 59, Iowa 49 and Penn State 83.
    While the results on the field should have been much better, ND played a competitive schedule.

  6. Noah Mead - Dec 7, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    I am still amazed that Notre Dame still refuses to join a conference! How come Northwestern, Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt and others can remain high academic institutions and still be in conferences?
    Notre Dame’s problem is NOT coach, academic standards, or recruiting! The problem is their players have nothing to play for! One loss and the national title is, for all intensive purposes, over. The BCS will not last forever and what makes Notre Dame think if they go 9-3 or 10-2 they get a BCS bid when schools like Boise State, TCU, Cincinnati, Utah and others are going 12-0 and 13-0 respectively?
    Here it is in simple terms:
    1) Kids want to play in a conference.
    2) They want a conference championship knowing the BCS National Championship is few and far between.
    3) They want a divisional championship within their conference if they play in a 12 team conference.
    4) They want the conference rivalry games.
    5) Every BCS team now has national televised games. The NBC contract does not mean anything especially when local NBC affiliates in the south for example don’t shoe the games!
    Notre Dame needs to get over its greed and join a conference. Notre Dame has the same relevance as Army and Navy now.

  7. Bielfriend - Dec 7, 2009 at 10:47 PM

    To Noah Mead: Like ALL N.D. Bashers, you don’t know your facts. Can’t see them in the South huh?? I’ve been living in Atlanta for 42 years and have NEVER missed a NBC televised home game!!! A cursory study of N.D’s football history shows one glaring fact. When they hire the right Head Coach, they win a lot of games and do very well. When the Administration makes the wrong coaching call,(ie.G.Faust,B.Davie,J.Kuharich,T.Willingham,C.Weis,Hugh Devore)they struggle. I believe the Administration will make the right choice this time. All the other so called “reasons” that have been mentioned ad neauseum are just that, total lies!! What young man wouldn’t want to get a degree from Notre Dame, when in fact, it’s worth thousands more in a starting salary than any degree from 99% of the “other” Division I schools!! Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, the IRISH will be back with a vengence!!!! So, “Get Over It” GO IRISH!!!!!!!

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