Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 12 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 13 UNDER THE DOME 5 Years Ago: June 27, 2014 In the 21-year history of the Learfield Directors' Cup awarded by the NCAA for most cumulative points tallied during an academic year in athletics competition, Notre Dame finishes with its highest- ever ranking at No. 3 with 1,128.25 points. Highlighted by a national title in men's soccer and runner-up place- ments in women's basketball and men's lacrosse, the Fighting Irish finish behind only Stanford (1,482.0) and Florida (1,216.5). The previous highest ranking had been No. 6 in 2006. Twenty-two of Notre Dame's 26 varsity sports made a trip to their respective NCAA postseason tournaments. This also marked the first school year Notre Dame was part of the Atlantic Coast Conference after having previously been in the Big East. 25 Years Ago: July 11, 1994 Notre Dame is officially accepted as the 13th member of the Big East Conference, with the caveat that the football program would remain independent. Competition in its new league wouldn't begin until the 1995-96 school year. The move is made to enhance the visibility and competitive level in all sports, but was especially made for basketball purposes. The growing women's team under head coach Muffet McGraw was playing in the lightly regarded Midwest Collegiate Conference. Meanwhile, the men's team was severely floundering as an independent with both scheduling and recruiting. Head coach Digger Phelps had ended his successful 20-year career in 1991 with a 12-20 record, while successor John MacLeod was 18-15, 9-18 and 12-17 his first three seasons. "I don't want to leave the impression we were forced into a conference because we could not com- pete as an independent," Notre Dame athletics director Dick Rosenthal told The New York Times. "I never felt we needed to cease being an independent in basketball. I still believe that. I just think this is a great marriage." 45 Years Ago: July 25, 1974 Reigning national champion Notre Dame, favored to repeat in 1974 with the return of eight starters on defense and nine on offense, has a devastating setback when the university announces that six sophomore football players — four of them starters — would be expelled for the 1974-75 academic year. The statement released by the school was terse: "The University of Notre Dame has dismissed for a period of no less than one academic year a small number of students who had been attending the summer session. This action follows an investigation by the dean of students of a violation of university rules." It is discovered soon thereafter that the six are defensive ends Ross Browner and Willie Fry, safety Luther Bradley, running backs Al Hunter and Dan Knott, and quarterback Roy Henry (all but Henry would return for the 1975-76 school year). The report makes national headlines, including Walter Cronkite's CBS evening news, when rape al- legations are made, although no formal charges are pressed. The fact that Browner and Bradley were two of the greatest impact freshmen in NCAA history adds to the stunning revelation. Browner led the 1973 national champs in tackles for loss (15) and was third in overall tackles (68), while Bradley paced the team in interceptions (six) and passes broken up (11). Hunter returned a kickoff for a 93-yard touchdown in the 24-23 Sugar Bowl win versus No. 1 Alabama, and was slated to start after Eric Penick suffered a severe ankle break during spring drills. The nightmare offseason continued that summer with the news that two other projected starters, guard Steve Quehl and safety Tim Simon, would also be sidelined. Quehl nearly lost his life in an indus- trial accident at his summer job, while Simon was blinded in an eye in a separate incident. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Athletics History: June/July The Notre Dame men's soccer team capturing the 2013 national title helped the Fighting Irish finish No. 3 in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings for the 2013-14 aca- demic year that June. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH MEDIA BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PO Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 DELIVERY LIMITED TO CONTINENTAL U.S. PLEASE ADD SALES TAX FOR ITEMS SHIPPING TO: (NC 7.5%, IN 7%, MI 6%) Made to order & shipped direct from manufacturer, returns not related to damage may incur fee. GRILL MAT $49.95 + FREE S&H Available in 2 Styles: ND or Leprechaun (Item #6622-ND or #6622-LEP) (Item #6621) CUSTOM GRILL COVERS Hand-made in the USA using the finest commercial grade vinyl. Mold-resistant, breathable vinyl with drawstring bottom. Logo printed with UV-resistant ink. AVAILABLE IN 2 SIZES & 3 LOGOS: Small: 60" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $51.95 + $15.00 S&H Large: 72" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $54.95 + $15.00 S&H Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.

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