No President of Notre Dame ever has or will be a bigger
by frbrennan (2006-02-22 12:59:45)
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  In reply to: Question about Fr. Hesburgh's treatment of the football program.  posted by CMC Irish



fan of Notr Dame football than Fr. Hesburgh. He took over as president in 1952 at the age of 35 At that time we were just starting our rapid growth and the last of the veterans had graduated. We had many needs at Notre Dame and he realized that we had to grow from a football school to a great Catholic University. He had negotiated the football television packages that were a breakthrough in sports and we were starting to bring in the necessary funds to spur our growth both financially and academically. He had visions of of a Notre Dame which would be known as a great learning center which would extend its reach and knowledge throuhout the country and the world. He is a true visionary.
He did not de-emphasize football. He decided to put it in perspective. We had returned to one platoon football and there were not as many players needed. He tightened up on the entrance requirement for the general student body and the atheltic program. He felt and rightly so that both great football and great academics could coexist. He was aware that Notre Dame was caught having illegal practices in the summer of 1951 when the ncaa flew a plane over the stadium. Leahy was a great coach but he had the image of being the most important person at Notre Dame. Leahy was also suffering from health problems and had heart trouble. Fr Hesburgh knew that without Leahy we would not have achieved the greatness that we have.


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