During the bitter end of Monk's tenure, a lot of people were blaming Monk (rightly) for de-emphasizing football in order to raise our standing among our dear "aspirational peers" and to encourage a "different" type of student to apply to Notre Dame. Some people complained that he wasn't following in the path of Fr. Hesburgh in this regard.
However, it seems to me that Hesburgh is getting a free pass in this regard. Indeed, in "Touchdown Jesus," it is argued that Hesburgh intentionally deemphasized football for the same reasons as Monk. One of the more famous quotes of his in this regard implies that this is actually true. "Our student body had doubled, our facilities were inadequate, our faculty quite ordinary for the most part, our deans and department heads complacent, our graduates loyal and true in heart but often lacking in intellectual curiosity, our academic programs largely encrusted with the accretions of decades, our graduate school an infant, our administration much in need of reorganization, our fund-raising organization nonexistent and our football team national champions."
In addition, in reading "Talking Irish," there seems to be consensus among those "in the know" that Hesburgh fired Frank Leahy as part of this de-emphasis.
I obviously wasn't around during Hesburgh's tenure, so I was wondering if those of you who were around share the view that seems to be taken in "Touchdown Jesus" and "Talking Irish"?
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