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Football game behavior assessed

Benjamin Ellison | Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A moment came in the 38-0 loss to USC Oct. 20 in which I was embarrassed to be part of the Notre Dame community. But it wasn’t because of yet another blowout loss to USC, bringing us to 1-7 for the season. It was because of the chant that arose from the student section in the fourth quarter when USC challenged a call. The chant was not only audible to the 80,000 people in the stadium, but also on the NBC broadcast of the game. That chant was, “F*** Pete Carroll.”

To whoever started this chant or participated in it: This is not acceptable. Notre Dame does not do things like that. Such conduct reflects poorly on the team, students, alumni and the entire Notre Dame community. One need not even have the cleanest of vocabularies to realize that. No individual student, no section of students, and not even a majority of the student body has the right to do such a dishonorable thing that brings shame to Our Lady’s university.

I can understand the motivations behind such conduct, but there simply is no justification for it. Not a 1-7 season. Not a shutout loss at home. Not the sixth loss in a row to USC. Not even Pete Carroll. Current students are not owed anything more than any other generation of fans or alumni. We have not been given the right to bring such dishonor to the University of Notre Dame.

My roommate attended the 38-0 loss to Michigan in 2003 in Ann Arbor, Mich. and characterized it as one of the worst experiences of his life. Not only was the loss pretty darn bad, but also the chant of “F*** the Irish!” which arose from nearly the entire Michigan student body near the end of the game was pretty inappropriate and insulting.

Perhaps that kind of behavior is just fine at the University of Michigan, but please, not here. There are a lot of things that set Notre Dame apart from other universities. I’d like to think that the character of the student body is still one of those. Such character might include things like respecting the other team, respecting opposing fans and respecting the reputation of one’s own university. As a bare minimum, can we at least refrain from chanting “F*** you” at the opposing coach?

Benjamin Ellison

Class of 2005

current graduate student

Oct. 29