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Notre Shame must get the Black Athlete


Paul Whorening said in an interview that Notre Shame must lower its academic standards so that they can have black athletes on their team.


Hornung: Irish 'must get the black athlete'

Ex-N.D. star says school must ease its academic standardsSportsTicker
Updated: 7:58 a.m. ET March 31, 2004DETROIT - Former Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung has called on Notre Dame to “ease” its academic standards to attract “black athletes” so the perennial football power can remain competitive.


Hornung, one of school’s most famous and outspoken alumni, made his comments Tuesday night on AM 1270 in Detroit.

“As far as Notre Dame is concerned, we’re going to have to ease it up a little bit,” he said. “We can’t stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we’ve got to get the black athlete. We must get the black athlete if we’re going to compete.”

Noting that the Fighting Irish face eight bowl teams next season, Hornung added, “You can’t play a schedule like this unless you have the black athlete today, you just can’t do it. ... And it’s still very tough getting in Notre Dame and yet they want to win.”

Notre Dame was 5-7 last season, its third losing record in five years. Ratings for Fighting Irish telecasts on NBC matched the lowest in the 13 years the school has been on the network.

Featuring a lackluster offense, Notre Dame was shut out twice and held to 14 points or fewer in three other games.

Ironically, the Fighting Irish are coached by Tyrone Willingham, one of a handful of African-American coaches in Division I-A. Hired in 2002, he won his first eight games but faced increased criticism from alumni like Hornung after losing 10 of the next 17 contests.

Hornung remains the only Heisman Trophy winner to play for a losing team. He won the award as college football’s top player after Notre Dame went 2-8 in 1956.
I actually heard Hornung say this on the radio during halftime of one of the ND games a few years ago. His exact question to the ND AD: "When are we going to lower the academic standards to get some black kids from Florida into Notre Dame?"

I was shocked that no one made a big deal about this at the time.
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His message will be lost in the racial way he delivered it.

But ND does need to lower their standards for football players or they will be another duke.

It is a lot easier for blacks to get into ND than white regardless of their athletic ability.

There are just certain things you cannot say if you are a public figure and this guy just doesnt get that.
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espn radio just stated (dan patrick) that nd has a higher percentage of black football players than the div 1-a average.....interesting...

edit: tOSU is roughly 40% white (49 out of 121 on the spring roster)....i think espn said that nd is about 41% white....
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Wasn't it Jimmy the Greek who got fired in the late '80s or so by making the comment that the reason why blacks in America, particualrly in the south, were superior athletes as a whole compared to white athletes was because of breeding under slavery? You know what, I firmly believe--no, I have absolutely no doubt-- that the breeding forced upon blacks down south under slavery is indeed a significant factor in the athletic prowess in black athletes. My mom lives in between Ocala and Gainesville in Florida, and when I visit here I have to do a lot of driving through smaller towns since the area is so rural. You see a lot of young black kids hanging around (much more so than white kids, since there are more blacks than whites in many of the smaller towns and villages), and so many of them are big, lean, and muscular...and they didn't get that way from going to Gold's Gym every day. The few white kids hanging around aren't nearly as athletic-looking. It's more than sheer coincidence that Florida is famous for its fast and strong athletes and that Florida was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, states for slavery and its associated breeding of slaves.

So, in conclusion, Jimmy the Greek gets fired for making an honest and accurate observation, while golden honkey boy Paul Horning gets away with making Jim Crow-like statements.
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Paul's obviously hittin' the bottle hard again. He can't face the fact that they are just plain bad.
What a shame. ND's inability to win will now be blamed on academics. If the University decides to concentrate on this asinine comment then they will continue their losing ways.
They have recruited poorly and have been coached poorly.
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While I agree it was a un-called for comment and race has nothing to do with it .The fact is ND can't get the some of the kids that say OSU can get because of the academic restrictions so in a way it can be blamed on academics (Ask Lou) along with bad coaching etc. etc. etc etc! LOL!

BTW - Mili - You had a wrestling question on the "other sport" board about wrestling that I believe I answer.
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"so in a way it can be blamed on academics"

You're right, a lot of schools have this problem. For instance, Duke University fields a horrible basketball team every year because they can't get any of these stupid basketball players to qualify academically.

But, in all seriousness, they said that a large percentage of ND's last National Championship team in 1988 wouldn't qualify for the team today. I think that's a load of B.S. because Willigham pulled off a Top 5 class last year.

Truth be told, Notre Dame doesn't have the same mystique it used to. It used to be that a great Catholic football player was a lock to be a Domer. No sales pitch needed, and no matter where that kid was from. As soon as they had to start working for the recruits, the team declined. They've also been behind the curve in terms of updating their offense, getting speed in the program, and recruiting in the football hotbeds around the country.

If the Notre Dame Administration thinks the football team isn't important enough to lower the academic standards, then they're in for a rude awakening. Notre Dame's esteem IS about football, and football alone. Notre Dame is a great school, but they're hundreds of great Catholic schools: Boston College, Villanova, etc. What seperates ND from the others? Football. And if that same admin. thinks they can "poo-poo" the revenue brought in by the football team, then good for them. I certainly wouldn't be too happy if I was an ND alum.
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Year in an out there always seem to be one college football team with high academic requirements that fields a good team. Think of Tulane, TCU, Air Force and even Northwestern in the not too far past. It is the ability to win consistently where most of them come up short. They do not get the depth and breadth of studs.

As for Notre Dame and averages I am skeptical any time some one cites averages. I agree their offense is even more outdated than OSU or Nebraska. It is not a garden spot and I think they have some pretty stiff honor codes that are strictly enforced. Does this have a negative result with the black athlete? Not only black athletes but probably a lot of white, hispanic and oriental kids also.

I think the Notre Dame mystique is gone and with it goes the kids neded for the victories.

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Sloop- you make a very good point about Duke (something I have thought about as well) but there is a big difference finding 2-3 players a year that qualify than there is say 25.

I can't believe I am saying this, but I agree with Cheif on this statement.

Somethings that I don't mean to be racist, but some of this was mentioned on the Dan Patrick show that I agree with

1) Any negative portrail of a race as a whole is okay if you are a WASP/C, but not if you are anything else.

2) To say you need the Black athlete, is a horrible thing to say in itself. Even though it seems to be accepted as a positive. Better athletes? Does it matter to if you get better black athletes, or better athletes? Okay, but why black athletes. Grouping people based on race is a horrible idea.

3) Any time standards are lowered for african americans, (or we say we are going to do it), it is still allowing the chain of slavery to be chackled. We are saying as a society, you are not good enough to do this on your own, so we (white america) are going to help you out. As if we expect to hear "thankya masta". There are not two levels of intellegence, there are not two classes of people, and it is stupid to keep up this kind of thinking.

Sports should be the one place where race is eliminated. If you can play, and help the team when, it shouldn't matter what color you are. It is a shame that the Golden Boy had to bring race into it.

I don't know how ND will handle this, but I imagine it will not be taken too lightly.
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1. Paul Hornung is a 68-year-old white man. Sixty-eight. That means he was born in 1935.
2. What he said, while not 'politically correct', is true. And everyone knows it.
3. The ONLY reason people are pissed about this is the same reason why they all got pissed about Janet Jackson's titty. Weak minded sheeple are always compelled to carry the flag against 'racism' and 'indecency' because, in their minds, it improves their standing as a 'human being'.
4. This is nothing more than another slip of the tongue by a member of the sports world that is being blown out of proportion for no other purpose than to get people to tune into SportsCenter.
5. It will be forgotten in a matter of weeks.

I look at it like this: Leave the man alone. If you went and asked the members of Notre Dame football teams of yesteryear, you'd elicit the same kind of response. ND is on the decline, and to make the argument that their stringent academic standards are keeping out the elite black athletes that can't or don't make the grade is completely reasonable. It doesn't make you a racist. I'm sorry. Hornung may be the Grand Wizard of the Klan behing closed doors, but the statement that Notre Dame "needs to get the black athlete" by lowering the scholastic bar is not, in any way, evidence of that.

So whatever. Everyone can go back to their lives and get off Hornung's back. There was no punishment necessary, but it came anyway, and now it's over.
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