Leahy resigned under pressure (long)
by fisherhall (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

If you have read Talking Irish, you know that it is an excellent read and a rich source of information about ND football. Leahy resigned under pressure from the Hesburgh administration. The story put out was that it was due to health reasons. Leahy's own physician states in the book that Leahy was healthy and he was shocked to learn of the resignation. Leahy's last rites was painted as a fainting episode brought on by overwork and a viral condition (flu)in that book. Hesburgh then hired a high school football coach (Terry Brennan) with limited experience (sound familiar). I believe he only had 1-2 years as a ND assistant under Leahy. Leahy never embraced the hire and was known to grumble behind the scenes about being replaced with Brennan who was one of his former players. See the Indiana Hoosiers of the current day. Hesburgh then cut football scholarships substantially. Hesburgh gets credit for hiring Ara when Joyce wanted Devine in 1964. The 10 year exodus in the wilderness in the late 50s and early 60s do resemble Davieham. The Glory of Notre Dame has two articles that are worth reading. They were "The Hiring of Terry Brennan" and "The Firing of Terry Brennan" both written by Dick Schaap. They were expertly written and presented with balance. One should also read Hesburgh's ruminations after the 1964 loss to USC late in that season. Another article worth exploring is the 1986 SI after the Michigan loss. My humble opinion is that Hesburgh could easily live without ND football but also showed understanding of it's importance to most of us ND people (without or without intellectual curiosity) and it's value of a cash cow. Hesburgh was neither saint nor sinner but somewhere in between when it came to ND football. My opinion is also that Affleck- Graves is the true champion when it comes to recent changes in emphasis about the football program. Certain members of the BOTs should get kudos too.


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