The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



The same football experience

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am writing in response to yet another alumnus who is unhappy with the institution they no longer attend on a daily basis. Mr. James Gillen accuses the Notre Dame administration of “prostituting the entire football experience” to NBC without even mentioning the exponential benefits that the University reaps from the media deal.

I have no experience or inside knowledge of the contract my school has with NBC, but after checking the Notre Dame News and Information Web site, I know the following: the Notre Dame Football program is listed as the most valuable team in college football ($101 million); the football program contributes $21 million towards academics at Notre Dame (equal to the next 5 programs on the list combined in their contributions to academics at their respective institutions); and Notre Dame is able to keep all $9 million earned from the television revenue from NBC (Forbes 2007).

What I gather from this is that the NBC deal has not only allowed Notre Dame far more exposure than any other college program in the nation, but it has also allowed Notre Dame to grow academically as well as athletically in any number of areas.

As for the games being “annoyingly stretched into a marathon,” and losing the emotion and home field advantage due to a televised game; I (and I hope and assume many others feel this way) have no problem with being given the opportunity to stay an extra 1-2 hours at Notre Dame Stadium on a couple Saturdays each fall. Each “annoying” TV timeout allows the best band, student section, and alumni network in the country more of an opportunity to play songs, cheer loud, and be recognized for their accomplishments in between plays.

While Mr. Gillen wants the administration to “protect home football games for those who love them,” I’m simply grateful that the administration is looking out for the financial, academic and athletic interest of the entire University; and if I have to sit through annoying marathon games and receive a world class education in small part because of a TV deal, I guess I can manage that.

John Whitty


Stanford Hall

Dec. 3