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Identity lost

| Friday, December 3, 2004

I am appalled and ashamed that Notre Dame released Tyrone Willingham Tuesday, with two years remaining on his contract.

In a Washington Post article Thursday morning, athletic director Kevin White is quoted as lauding the integrity and academics of the program under Willingham. Yet it seems only winning on Saturdays count. Patience is not a virtue Notre Dame practices. We will not even meet our own contractual commitments to a 5-year period to allow Willingham to build a program.

I was once proud of my alma mater’s football program and, win or lose, its emphasis on clean play and academic standards. When talking of sports and Notre Dame, I would often speak to friends and colleagues about that emphasis and how Notre Dame balanced athletics, academics and spirituality – each firmly entrenched in the University culture. Willingham personified that balance and showed great dedication to the young men who will go on in life without football, but with college degrees.

I am now appalled and ashamed that we have placed winning as our number-one priority and treated Willingham so badly. We have lost our identity and our hallowed place in athletics to join the ranks of other football factories.

Nicholas Matich

alumnus

class of 1981 and 1982

Dec. 2