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Spite for Holiday makes University look bad

| Monday, September 22, 2003

I have been a Notre Dame fan all my life and am blessed to have had a son attend and graduate in 2002. I have watched hundreds of football games with pride. In the past few years, however, I have witnessed a disturbing trend where Irish pride, dignity and respect have given way to embarrassing, mean-spirited attacks in the form of boos and cat-calls aimed at Notre Dame players.

On behalf of true Notre Dame fans who love the game, and more importantly, what Notre Dame stands for, I apologize to Carlyle Holiday and his family. How sad and disgusting it is to hear Notre Dame fans boo a player. Where is the loyalty, the support for a struggling athlete, the sensitivity to understand that he and others on the team are doing the best they can? I want to win like everyone else but not at the expense of emotionally attacking a student – a 20-something-year-old young man.

Notre Dame lost more than just a game against Michigan State. Nationally televised, the game and its fans illustrated how commonplace and ordinary Notre Dame is becoming. Once an icon for teamwork, moral conduct and spiritual values, the University and its football fans are quickly gaining a new image for themselves – one certainly familiar to gladiators of old. Or, for a more contemporary comparison, they are reminiscent of a Jerry Springer audience.

If you love Notre Dame, then you love its students and all it stands for. In so doing, you respect and appreciate the efforts and talents of those students regardless of outcome. “Winning” is being part of Notre Dame.

The University and its fans should be proud of Carlyle Holiday. He is what Notre Dame stands for.

Marc Novotney


Sept. 20