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Disrespectful athletes mar Bookstore tradition

Brian Borchard, Ray Areaux, Drew Donovan and Brian Schmutzler | Sunday, April 25, 2004

We show up to our friends’ game to realize that they are facing a team with some of Notre Dame’s star football athletes. Our friends are psyched to go head-to-head with these guys, not only because it is a privilege to run with some of the best athletes in the country, but also because these are the same guys we cheer for every Saturday. This excitement only makes our friends try as hard as they can to match up. The football players, meanwhile, know that we respect them, and they respect our friends for playing their hearts out. We give the football players and other star athletes a hard time to get them off their game. But the players take it in stride; they laugh at our teasing, shrug it off and respond like the athletes they are. The ushers regulate all the fans equally and enjoy the game with us. And when all is said and done, we shake hands with both teams because we know everything was done in fun. And as we walk away from the courts with stories for our friends and family, we wish our fellow students the best for next season. Unfortunately, this is not how Bookstore Basketball always is. Instead, genuine effort from our friends and our heckling are seen as threats. Instead, certain football players treat their classmates with disrespect. One of our friends gets choked on the court and another friend faces a demeaning victory dance every time a football player makes a play. We are told we do not contribute to the school because we do not play football. Instead of having fun stories from a great Notre Dame tradition, we leave bitter, insulted and disappointed. There are so many friendly and respectful athletes at Notre Dame, and we respect all the athletes who want to be a part of the close-knit Notre Dame family that we all know and love. Imagine if the others were to follow their lead. What an even closer group we could be.

Brian BorchardRay AreauxDrew DonovanBrian SchmutzlerseniorsKnott HallApril 25