Friday, August 10, 2007

What Makes Notre Dame Special

Recent events with Steve Spurrier have made me more proud than ever to be a fan of the University of Notre Dame. When a coach comes to Notre Dame they know that things aren't going to be made special for them and not just any player, no matter the level of talent will be able to be a Golden Domer.

When it comes down to it do you want your team to be full of thugs that rarely attend class, are far from model citizens and win or be a team with average talent at best but have a roster full of athletes that you would be proud to call your son?

As much as I did not like Bob Davie or Tyrone Willingham, they put what was most important to me first. That is the athletes life they were dealing with. It can be said that Charlie Weis "gets it".

You never saw Davie or Willingham going after players that make the school look bad. You saw a lot of good people go through the Notre Dame football doors when these two men were on campus. The same can be said for what Charlie has done now as well, as you hear stories of Weis getting on recruits cases because their grades in high school aren't good enough. These are kids he isn't even going to coach for sure.

Rumors had it that Urban Meyer would have taken the job at Notre Dame had he been able to lower academic standards for athletes to get in. Congrats Urban on winning a National Title at Florida. I am not arguing that he is not a great coach because he really is. However I just feel Notre Dame prides themselves on being different from everywhere else and it makes me proud to say I'm a fan of the institution.

Another case that sticks out to me is that of Friday Hand. Hand, the Irish defensive end who was arrested by an undercover police officer in a prostitution ring a short time ago was immediately suspended and isn't expected to see the practice or game field anytime soon. It seems to me that when players get in trouble at most other schools, cutting playing time is the last thing that any coaches wish to do.

Take Rashon Powers-Neal's case in 2005. After being arrested for a DUI he did not see the field again that season, a season off to a very promising start after he scored three times against Pitt.

So many players aren't suspended for their actions and I feel that this is where many NCAA Coaches drop the ball. Its not only the coaches duty to turn out a good football team in my personal opinion, its also their duty to try and distribute quality young men.

I feel Notre Dame does a great job of that compared to most other places. Every time I hear about a player from another school being charged with a crime and not being punished severely by his coach it just makes the Golden Dome shine that much brighter to me.

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