I think that overstates what Hesburgh did.....
by BIGSKYND (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

at the risk of inciting rebellion here, there is good reason to believe Hesburgh helped ease Leahy out the door and in turn had good reason to do so. Leahy had arrogated to himself a certain independence from the CSC administration that was probably unhealthy and inappropriate. There are, for example, stories which probably have some truth to them about the 35-year-old Hesburgh, new to the presidency, inviting Leahy to meetings, only to have one of Frank's assistants appear. In addition, some of Leahy's actions on the football field (e.g., the Varricheone fake injury incident) were counter-productive to the gigantic task Hesburgh had taken on of significantly improving ND's academic standing, which was in turn highly dependent on how the school was perceived by potential donors. That said, the later decisions (Brennan, Kuharich) which people have labelled as "de-emphasis" likely were not. Instead, they were just bad personnel decisions. Kuharich, for example, came from the NFL so his hiring could hardly be characterized as de-emphasizing. He just turned out to be a bad coach. Even throughout his reign, ND still was turning out a lot of NFL talent. Meanwhile, Hesburgh raised tons of money and drove ND's ascension to a much loftier academic status.


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