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Termination will hurt diversity

| Friday, December 3, 2004

The Black Alumni of Notre Dame (BA of ND) is both shocked and disappointed with the University’s decision to let Tyrone Willingham go three years prior to the end of his contract. The decision made by the administration is both premature and unprecedented. It disregards his outstanding first season, off-field success and increased integrity and academic strides among our football players.

The University’s decision is about more than just football. In hiring Willingham, the University displayed an unspoken commitment to ethnic diversity and an open mind to hire the best regardless of color. In firing him before the end of his contract, the University sends another message entirely. This decision will affect the black community more than the University might anticipate in areas of recruiting, student and faculty retention and Alumni participation and contributions in the future.

In just a few years, Willingham has captured our utmost respect as a coach to the football team and as a man to the entire Notre Dame community. Unfortunately, we have already witnessed some negative effects of the University’s decision and expect these and more negative ramifications of the University’s decision in the future. The BA of ND Board will be available to assist the University in repairing the damage resulting from this decision because of our commitment to Notre Dame.

Danielle D. Boucree

Chairperson, Black Alumni of Notre Dame

Dec. 2