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The true end of an era

David Testone | Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When I was a freshman in the fall of 1966, the slogan on campus was “The New Era with Ara”. Ara Parseghian had come within one play of winning a national championship in 1964, and 1966 was shaping up to be “The Year.”

It was.

An undefeated season. A great feeling on campus. A feeling of pride to be a member of the Notre Dame community. Unfortunately, in 2010, that feeling is gone.

The tragic death of Declan Sullivan and the loss to Tulsa only highlight the malaise that engulfs the once proud football program. The hirings and subsequent firings of Gerry Faust, George O’Leary, Bob Davie, Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis have been embarrassing, at best. Now we have Brian Kelly who berates players during games, defies logic with his play calling and avoids being ultimately responsible for football operations.

Sadly, it’s not just the football program at Notre Dame that has lost its luster. While an undergraduate, I had a professor who characterized Notre Dame as “The truckdrivers’ Harvard.” With tuition, room and board approaching $50,000 per year, that “affectionate” characterization of Notre Dame no longer applies.

Until just recently I never fully appreciated the impact Father Ted, Moose and Ara had on the fabric of Notre Dame. Those three individuals established a Golden Era at Notre Dame which should have been replicated.

 

David Testone

alumnus

Class of 1970, 1976

Nov. 2