Hesburgh / Leahy
by Leahy (2006-02-22 12:59:45)

In reply to: Question about Fr. Hesburgh's treatment of the football program.  posted by CMC Irish

Almost all analysis points to Hesburgh letting my father go.
This battle between dad & Fr. Ted has been debated and discussed over and over.
My dad did in fact blame Fr. Ted for the change in direction at ND.
Dad was a giant in those days and Fr. Ted was a young new President. A clash of the Titans was inevitable.
Dad at age 45, Fr. Ted in mid thirties I believe.
I will say this: For years the relationship was extremely strained if not painful. Fr. Ted did not appreciate dads lack of support for Terry Brennan and his outspoken criticism of Notre Dame Football.
Dad would often speak about the program Rock built, and the success Layden had, and how he (dad) was honored to carry on the tradition, and now Notre Dame had handed it to a High School coach.
In the end though, as my dad was dying in Lake Oswego, Oregon Fr.Ted spent the last week & a half with us, and dad, as Wells Twombley captured it in his book "Shake Down the Thunder".
Many tears were shed by dad & Fr. Ted in the quiet moments of my dads bedroom.
Two immensly proud (yet stubborn) men who realized their mistakes many years ago.
Fr. Ted for realizing ND football could be strong and accentuate the academics and religious tone of ND, and my dad for all the negativity and bad press he brought to ND and Fr. Ted and Terry Brennan.
All of the Leahy's will always remember Fr.Ted as a leader,a man willing to say he was sorry, and mostly as a friend and admirer of dad who was willing to be with dad up until the end.
Notre Dame: It's history is rich with politics, drama, religious overtones, and leadership qualities that reach far outside of football.
In the end though it is football that casts Notre Dame in the public eye.
Love Thee Notre Dame.
I do.
My dad certainly did.
So did Fr. Ted.