Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why I Will Begin Rooting for Notre Dame

Over the years, I've soured on College Football.  I've written on this blog before that I believe the sport has become dominated by money instead of athletics, academics and tradition.  The straw that broke the camel's back for me was Texas A&M's decision to leave the Big 12 and head to the SEC.  Tradition was thrown out the window because of money, plain and simple.

I am not the only one disappointed in this particular turn of events in college football.  I subscribe to Texas Monthly, and David Courtney, who writes "The Texanist" column, aired his feelings toward this situation by asking, "What's the point of Thanksgiving?"  (The editor's note which follows kept me chuckling for more than a few moments.)

But a week ago, I read an article which renewed my hope that not everyone is a sell out.  The University of Notre Dame refuses to bow to money, to lower its standards, or to give athletes special treatment. 

I am impressed.

From the article:

I find the national glee/outrage over Notre Dame’s demise as a national football powerhouse to be a staggering display of selective perception.

Penn State sacrificed its principles on the altar of king football, with tragic results. North Carolina has made a mockery of its academic reputation in an effort to admit and keep eligible marginally prepared football stars. There are looming NCAA clouds over Miami and Oregon, a postseason ban at Ohio State, and just-concluded penalties at USC.

We see all the fresh carnage caused by a loss of perspective. We howl at the scandals that diminish the game.

And still Notre Dame gets ripped and mocked for not winning enough.

How dare the school continue to stand for something more than going 12-0? How dare the school decide that leading the nation for the past three seasons in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate is more important than leading the nation in the polls? How dare the school recruit future societal leaders instead of the future medium-security detainees Pinkett wants?

For yours truly, Notre Dame wins even though it may lose on the football field.  Winning a football game or national championship is secondary to preparing young men to be responsible citizens, people of character, and contributors to society at large. 

Kudos to the university for standing on principle. 

I couldn't stand Notre Dame when younger, but I've changed my mind.  I will begin rooting for the Fighting Irish, and it doesn't hurt that they are a religious university either!

(In fact, one wonders if such religious principles aren't at the core of why Notre Dame continues to do what it does.  Unfortunately, the article doesn't go into any detail on this.  It should.)

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