Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2022 7 FAN FORUM MURKY WATERS Where is college football heading? ND's Board of Trustees and Adminis- tration must be concerned about recent trends. The transfer portal combined with the more recent Name, Image and Like- ness (NIL) monetary compensation rul- ing of the Supreme Court have created a situation where college athletes are being recruited by promises of major NIL contracts (often from avid wealthy alumni). The already tenuous relationship between academics and athletic per- formance at many schools is clearly moving towards a paid professional re- lationship, a minor league for the NFL and NBA. How will ND navigate these murky waters, is it possible to main- tain academic standards for admittance of athletes while fielding competitive teams? Will ND be expected to pay for the top high school talent with lucrative phony NIL commitments? We've already seen the results of this trend in the professionalization of col- lege basketball, with "one-and-done" recruiting. ND has not committed to that academic facade and has been un- able to recruit the top basketball talent, as results show in recent years. Is that where the football program is headed? We may be heading towards a series of moral decisions. Is ND willing to sell its soul for the lucrative income from top- tier football and basketball programs, forsaking any pretense of academic ex- pectations from recruits? How do we integrate, or not, athletes with little or no interest in real academic challenge into the college experience? Do we house them and educate them sepa- rately, impose different on- and off- campus behavior expectations, treat them as employees or students? I've followed ND football since my father, an ND graduate, came back from World War II. I myself graduated from ND. I support its commitment to truly educating its athletes, not just giving it lip service. I'm not sure where we are headed and how we reconcile our cur- rent policies with the emerging new world of intercollegiate sports at the higher level? I'd like to hear from Notre Dame di- rector of athletics Jack Swarbrick on these matters in future issues of this publication. J.T. O'Reilly '61 Via the internet A HELPING HAND Just a quick note to compliment Blue & Gold Illustrated on the excellent cus- tomer service team. When my February print version of Blue & Gold Illustrated was lost by the post office, I made a phone call to cus- tomer service. The person on the other end — I think it was Sarah Boone, al- though I've talked to Cathy Jones in the past as well — could not have been nicer and more understanding. The team took the time to hand address an envelope and quickly get another copy of the issue in the mail to me. I rely on the print version, so it was important to me, and clearly, it was important to them to help me out. Thank you to Coman Publishing and the great team there. It is much appreciated. Steve Boedigheimer Turner, Ore. OPTING OUT Kyren Williams was 90 percent of the Irish running game during the 2021 sea- son with no capable substitute. QB Jack Coan is not very mobile and gets flus- tered when forced out of the pocket. No running game should have been expected in the 37-35 loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1. The air game was good but still had a lot of incompletions. If Williams and Kyle Hamilton had played, Notre Dame would have won that game. Going forward players should not be allowed to opt out of their bowl games. If not changed, fans should not attend the bowl games or have ticket prices reduced. Going into the Fiesta Bowl, Notre Dame was not the No. 5-ranked team without Williams and Hamilton! Dan Keliher Via the internet BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P.O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: CORRECTION In the January 2022 issue of Blue & Gold Illustrated, in By The Numbers on page 9, we mistakenly listed Dan Devine as the head coach of the 1973 Notre Dame football team in our note about the Fight- ing Irish posting an average margin of victory of 34.8 in their four November games. The head coach of that '73 squad was, of course, Ara Parseghian. In addition, astute BGI subscriber William Nichols pointed out that the Fighting Irish's final game dur- ing the 1973 campaign was actually played on Dec. 1 at Miami (Fla.). Rather than referring to the 1973 and 1921 teams' "November dominance," it would have been more appropriate to call it "late-season dominance." For the record, the '73 squad played three November games and one in December, while the '21 team played five November contests over a 20-day stretch. Finally, upon closer examination after Mr. Nichols' input, we should have also included Devine's 1977 Irish team in the discussion. That year, the Irish won their final four contests — three in November and one in December (at Miami again) — by an average margin of 36.5 points. Recent trends such as Name, Image and Likeness and increased usage of the transfer portal have presented Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick with major challenges moving forward. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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