10-yard penalty for
Gazette File Photo
DON’T BE HATIN’, MISTA FRODO. Sean Astin, who played
Rudy in the movie — you guessed it — Rudy, takes
a brooding pose to condemn the racist comments of his fictitious
co-alumnus. Astin sez: “Don’t mess with the bling-bling
DETROIT (AP) — Football great Paul Hornung
said in a radio interview that his alma mater, the University of
Notre Dame, needs to lower its academic standards to “get
the black athlete.”
“As far as Notre Dame is concerned, we’re going to
have to ease it up a little bit,” Hornung told Detroit’s
WXYT-AM in an interview before the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame
WXYT’s sister station, WWJ-AM in Detroit, played a portion
of the interview for The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Hornung, who is white, won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame.
He went on to star for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and is
a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“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,” Hornung said. “We must get the black athlete
if we’re going to compete.”
Hornung and Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler
did not immediately return phone messages left by the AP on Wednesday.
Hornung, who is part of the Westwood One Radio team that broadcasts
Notre Dame games, has previously criticized the school, saying
its academic requirements have hurt the athletic department.
“We open up with Michigan, then go to Michigan State and
Purdue — those are the first three games, you know, and you
can’t play a schedule like this unless you have the black
athlete today,” he said. “You just can’t do it.”
Notre Dame’s football team went 5-7 last season, its second
under Tyrone Willingham, the first black head coach in any sport
in school history.
Of the 68 scholarship players on the Notre Dame roster for spring
practice, 35 are black and 33 are white. Of the incoming freshmen,
12 are black and five are white. If no one leaves the program,
55.2 percent of Notre Dame’s football players next season
would be black.
According to the latest NCAA statistics available, during the
2001/02 season, the percentage of Division I-A football players
who were white was 48.8 per cent while 43.8 per cent were black.