Monday, December 03, 2001

Sanctimonious Frauds

I know disliking and demonizing the other team is part and parcel of any good rivalry, and I certainly still smart from a Michigan loss or two to Notre Dame. But the puffery Notre Dame boosters engage in is particularly galling and makes them more insufferable than other bastions of evil.

So I allowed myself a little schadenfreude to hear about the firing of Bob Davie, their football coach, a few days after I heard him say,
``It's not true. I believe in Notre Dame and its integrity and honesty. It might happen somewhere else, but not here. It's the first time I've been confronted with it. That story is not true.''

Let me emphasize this. Notre Dame has no more "integrity and honesty" than any other college football program. The main thing that makes it have less (since Lou Holtz left, anyway) is the pretension that it has more.

Think Notre Dame has trouble because academics matter so much there? Here is how much it factored in the decision to fire Bob Davie:
The players posted the two highest semester grade-point averages the past two semesters of any other team since the school started keeping track in 1990, and the team was honored by the American Football Coaches Association for having a 100 percent graduation rate last year.
As the Chicago Tribune's Rick Morrissey puts it:
Left to its own devices, the Irish Nation would ask for 4.0 grade-point averages and 4.3 speed, though not in that order, and on second thought, never mind the GPAs.

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