Can things at Notre Dame football get any worse?
December 14, 2001 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Can things at Notre Dame football get any worse? '"Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni and fans," O'Leary said in a statement released by the school Friday.' Oops.
posted by heybate (29 comments total)
i just read that news this morning, and i about busted a gut. i tried to find a link to the tribune columnist rick morrissey's ed. on the hypocrisy of notre dame -- they passed on basketball coach rick majerus because he admitted in his autobiography to having cheated once in college -- while still choosing o'leary as football coach, a guy who morrissey wrote had a 33% graduation rate among his players and whose ncaa rules infractions are supposedly well-documented.

yes, notre dame is pretty sad. i find myself rooting for northwestern these days, when i do root for college football, anyway.
posted by moz at 9:30 AM on December 14, 2001

Busted! I love stories like that...
posted by fuzzynavel at 9:30 AM on December 14, 2001

"I lied on my football resume. Where, oh where, shall I go to get a job? I know! The most visible college job in football!"
posted by dhartung at 9:37 AM on December 14, 2001

Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon called Notre Dame on the fact that a winning coach often mentioned for head coaching spots, Tyrone Willingham, wasn't even really considered by Notre Dame. Wilbon hinted that it was race related, but he tends to make everything a racial issue.
posted by owillis at 9:39 AM on December 14, 2001

The atmosphere around football is totally different at Notre Dame. I went to school in Notre Dame (at Saint Mary's), and it's really a cult, as I'm sure many of you know.

Notre Dame puts a lot of emphasis on the character of their employees. I think this is their way of saying that O'Leary did something wrong, and they don't want anyone who would consider lying on his resume influencing their students.

Then again, it could be the letters that Kevin White got from alumni disparaging his decision and insulting O'Leary himself.

Does anyone find it funny that GT didn't discover the same problem?
posted by MeetMegan at 9:41 AM on December 14, 2001


it may be biased, but i am more willing to agree that it would be religious bias. o'leary was perfect for notre dame in every way but his methodology and track record: he's irish and he's catholic. (if gruden's dad was an asst. coach there, i'm guessing they both are catholic; mariucci, being italian, is probably catholic himself. as for stoops and the coach from oregon -- i'm not sure of his name -- i don't know.)
posted by moz at 9:46 AM on December 14, 2001

Geez, nobody batted an eye when that Rudy kid got high on coke and beat up all those hookers.
posted by Skot at 9:53 AM on December 14, 2001

MeetMegan: Funny "odd" or funny "amusing" or both?
posted by alumshubby at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2001

posted by MeetMegan at 9:58 AM on December 14, 2001

Does anyone find it funny that GT didn't discover the same problem?

Nah, Georgia is full of crooks.

GT alum, CS BS w/H, May 2000
( unlike George, my credentials are real ;-P )
posted by mischief at 10:02 AM on December 14, 2001

I'm actually at Notre Dame right now, and this place is going crazy. To many of the faithful, this is the biggest event of the fall, and has replaced the Middle East on the local news coverage. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for John Gruden.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2001

Can things at Notre Dame football get any worse?

Yup, they could have Regis Philbin as a fan...
Or worse, they could be as corrupt as Miami...
posted by nofundy at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2001

And now it comes out that he "never earned a master of science degree in education from the school, as claimed in this year's Georgia Tech football media guide."

I think now would be a good time to go into the resume verification industry.
posted by heybate at 10:12 AM on December 14, 2001

We're all keeping our fingers crossed for John Gruden

I'm not understanding all the "Chucky" talk. He's the head coach of one of the best teams in the NFL, why would anyone take the step down to college - even Notre Dame?
posted by owillis at 10:37 AM on December 14, 2001

I'm perfectly happy to be an Illini (debates about our mascot notwithstanding). I certainly didn't come here for the sports, but our football team is on its way to the Sugar Bowl, and our basketball team is ranked 9. In spite of my first name and Chicago neighborhood of origin, I've always felt uncomfortable with the Irish Catholic vibe in this region (please note that my gripe is with the culture, not the religion).
posted by Eamon at 10:41 AM on December 14, 2001


Greeetings from Oakland. (BTW, I'm a NY Giants fan, but since my tax dollars help pay for the Raiders, I follow them closely) Don't hold your breath for Gruden. He's a pro football coach to the core, in my opinion. With the Raiders expected to go at least 1-2 rounds in the playoffs, Gruden is busy until late January, which is a little late for a college like ND to get a coach.
posted by msacheson at 10:45 AM on December 14, 2001

Is the stability/notoriety/pay as the head coach of a major college program like Notre Dame really a step down? I don't think so. That said, I do agree with msacheson and I don't think that Gruden can possibly be the man due to timing alone.
posted by heybate at 10:47 AM on December 14, 2001

owillis & msacheson, I don't really anticipate that Gruden will come here, it's a case of largely unrequited love, I'm afraid. Gruden did, however, express at least some interest in the first round of seeking coached.

Further, Gruden's father coached here, and Gruden is a big fan. Add that to the difficulties Gruden has had with Al Davis, and there might be some motivation to leave the Raiders. Is it likely? Pobably not. But my hope is that Kevin White will appoint an interim coach and take another run at Gruden after the NFL season is over.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:50 AM on December 14, 2001

Before I forget, let me add that Jon Gruden is widely thought to be the most underappreciated and underpaid coach in the NFL. Notre Dame might not be so bad after putting up with Al Davis.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:51 AM on December 14, 2001

If my choices were Al Davis as a boss vs. being in the most visible and criticized position in college football, I'd want to think that one over.
posted by alumshubby at 11:18 AM on December 14, 2001

Perhaps because I'm much more of an NFL fan than college, I tend to think that college coaches usually go up towards the NFL (Butch Davis) whereas coaches who do the reverse are usually in the twilight of their careers (George Allen). I would think even if Gruden leaves Oakland he would be better off at another NFL job (probably Tampa, though why they keep talking about firing Dungy confounds me).

Maybe I've just got NFL bias.
posted by owillis at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2001

I don't really anticipate that Gruden will come here, it's a case of largely unrequited love

I totally understand this. In my mind, Joe Gibbs is always a phone call away from coming back to coach the Redskins.
posted by owillis at 11:58 AM on December 14, 2001

heh heh ... crisis of faith time for ND fans. i love it. guess what people ... god doesn't give a shite about yr loser gold-helmeted team that cheated their way into the BCS last year. (speaking of ... did i miss the BCS thread? or has that controversy been ignored here at MeFi.)
posted by danOstuporStar at 12:06 PM on December 14, 2001

Who read the media guide and then checked up on O'Leary's background?
posted by Carol Anne at 2:13 PM on December 14, 2001

the luck of the Irish indeed.

posted by donkeysuck at 2:26 PM on December 14, 2001

now, now, the luck of the Irish is stepping in poo and saying, "At least I didn't have my good shoes on."
posted by Mick at 2:35 PM on December 14, 2001

I knew it was too good to be true; a Notre Dame coach with an Irish name.
posted by Oxydude at 6:41 PM on December 14, 2001

The Manchester Union Leader in NH, where O'Leary claimed to have lettered in varsity football. The heard he was going to be the Notre Dame coach and went looking for pictures of him in action on the UNH gridiron. Then they wondered why they couldn't find any.

I could care less about Notre Dame football, but any real fan of the program should be thanking their lucky stars. Obviously this guy had rocks in his head.

posted by sacre_bleu at 7:52 PM on December 14, 2001

sacre_bleu: Thanks for pointing me to that newspaper. This is history-making: "enterprise reporting" by a sports department!

"As first reported by The Union Leader this week, O’Leary had falsely claimed to have played for the University of New Hampshire...The Union Leader exclusively learned on Thursday that a hand-written biographical form obtained from the Syracuse University sports information department showed that O’Leary claimed to be a three-year UNH letterman. The document was dated April 1, 1980, three months after Syracuse hired him as an assistant football coach. "
posted by Carol Anne at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2001

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