Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2023

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

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Page 6 of 55 APRIL 2023 7 FAN FORUM DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU The football program at Notre Dame became a prime example of what Fr. So- rin's idea of excellence was. Excellence was to be strived for in everything ND got involved in — not just academics but everything. That would include (but is not limited to) interscholastic competition as well as intercollegiate athletics. When the delusional hierarchy's (presidents) egos at ND though that the lime- light should be on them they became furious that the limelight was on the football program and its coaches, and not them. They had to settle for living in its reflected glory. Their delusion would not let them see if it weren't for ND football (Rockne, Leary, Parseghian, Holtz), ND would just be another Holy Cross. If asked what they think of when they hear the name "South Bend," people would be saying "Studebaker," not ND football. ND football put South Bend on the map and the limelight on ND. Nothing about delusional thinking is related to what Fr. Sorin had in mind about striving for ex- cellence. Only the delusional would be so ignorant to bite the hand that feeds them and keeps them on the map. Wake up, Fr. Jenkins. John McGrath BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters, Blue & Gold Illustrated, P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Notre Dame's search for a new offensive coordinator to replace Tommy Rees — who departed to take the same position at Alabama in early February — ended with the in-house promotion of Irish tight ends coach Gerad Parker Feb. 18. Before that happened, though, the Irish pursued Kansas State's Collin Klein and Utah's Andy Ludwig for the position. Ludwig even made his way to South Bend and was spotted at an Irish hockey game with head coach Marcus Freeman and Parker. Three days later, ESPN's Pete Thamel reported that Ludwig would not end up at Notre Dame and his buyout at Utah was an "obstacle." Freeman and Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick refuted that the buyout was the reason Ludwig wasn't hired, noting that both Klein and Ludwig simply decided to stay with their current schools. Irish fans had plenty to say about how Notre Dame's offensive coordinator search played out at our message board on NDIsHome: Many fans have been convinced that Notre Dame refused to pay the buyout to be able to hire Andy Ludwig. Personally, I think these fans are look - ing for a scapegoat as to why Notre Dame hasn't been able to crack the ceiling in winning a championship in three decades. Marcus Freeman addressed the rumors head on and basically told those of you buying that nonsense: STOP BELIEVING IT. Marcus Freeman could have simply said that he would not be addressing any rumors nor would he be answering questions about said rumors because the press conference was about introducing Gerad Parker as the new OC. Now these knucklehead fans are talking about Freeman lying in order to protect the program. Can we stop trying to force the idea that Notre Dame refused to pay the buy - out? Just accept that Pete Thamel's initial report was not accurate. Accept the fact that Utah probably played dirty in order to keep their OC. dtempel65: Totally agree. For some, they want to maintain their narrative that the administration is cheap and Swarbrick is incompetent. Bsmitty8: Who knows what is true, but it does seem odd that two guys turned down ND for lesser program jobs, Utah and K-State. Michael Tarheel: I'm not sure what's worse: 1) Refusing to pay the buy-out(s). 2) Not being able to steal a coach from Utah. Either way, I think it speaks to the current state of the program. ND is currently behind the ball on all things NIL, just lost a great OC and struck out trying to hire an OC. In the wake, ND also lost a great OL coach, the coach of a position group that has been the foundation of ND's offense. ND also went from having a top-5 class to falling to around No. 10. Maybe I need to focus more on the positive, like [quarterback Sam] Hartman. But it feels like we're slipping … Bigtegan: Upset that ND hasn't cracked the national title code in three decades, but yet this ND admin is amazing. Lol, this argument makes total sense. Rockne1988: It's pretty simple. ND lost its luster many years ago. A lot don't want to acknowledge it, but it's true. There are many programs that coaches would rather go to that there isn't all of the BS that ND has. [Urban] Meyer was a prime example and that was nearly 18 years ago. [Brian] Kelly is another one who said enough. Now fire away guys and gals. Johnnyh: Swarbrick said himself that the buyout was an "obstacle" briefly. So, if a "formal offer" was never presented, the buyout should never have been an "obstacle" for any amount of time. So, there really isn't any conspiracy here. It's obvious there was some mistake made on Notre Dame's end. I think it's fairly obvious that the mistake was cor - rected at some point in time. Did it cost Notre Dame Ludwig? Probably not. Did it help convince him Notre Dame may be the place for him? Probably not. Two things can be true without conspiracy involved. Go Irish, and let's see what Parker can do. FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES The Blue & Gold Illustrated family recently suf- fered a profound loss. Tracy Freiburger-Burlage, the wife of our longtime writer Todd Burlage, unexpectedly passed away March 3 from post- surgery complications. Tracy was 53 years old. The Burlage family relocated to the South Bend area from Fort Wayne, Ind., in 2005 for Todd to begin a new chapter in his career cover- ing Notre Dame athletics for BGI. Tracy and Todd were married for 23 years and have three children together: Courtney Grace, 22; Jack Joseph 21; and Mary Patricia, 16. Tracy is also survived by two daughters from a previ- ous relationship: Shannon Taylor Lanning, 35, and Brooke Ann Myers, 31. We are all hurting as we grieve for Todd and his family during this time of incomprehensible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. A Go Fund Me account has been established to help Todd and his children manage this most difficult time. To contribute, go to and search for "Todd Burlage." Irish tight ends coach Gerad Parker (left), Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig (center) and Irish head coach Marcus Freeman at the Notre Dame- Ohio State hockey game Feb. 10. Parker was named OC one week later. PHOTO BY PATRICK ENGEL

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