In the Graduation Bowl
Dominating the undertaking from the get-go, the University of Notre Dame du Lac (official name) Fighting Irish outscored all other U.S. universities (except for a tie with Northwestern University) in graduating its seniors. Notre Dame and Northwestern converted 97% of its seniors on the fourth year, blitzing all other mortal universities. The fourth year summary has the Irish defeating Alabama, 97-75.
Not at all criticizing the Alabama game plan to win the national championship, the only goal is to praise the strategy of Notre Dame - to develop young men and women into well-rounded human beings. After all, a 75% graduation rate is equal to or better than the general four year graduation rate - according to sources.
Notre Dame's high graduation rate is extolled even more by the fact that N.D. specifies a two semester math requirement for all students. This math requirement changes the recruiting calculus for coach Brian Kelley. Kelley must limit his recruiting efforts to not only good football players, but also to good math students.
I remember freshman math and it was the nadir of my college days which increases my wonder of Notre Dame football and its academic requirements.
Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Alabama and the SEC's lesser academic requirements for its football players, because a program that promotes 75% of its students into the world of work with a baccalaureate and with most of the other 25% probably close to a degree, soon achievable, this is a fine accomplishment. Notre Dame's math requirement is not at all a prerequisite for success in life but is an effort to graduate students that can stand in all kinds of work and life.
Kudos to the University of Alabama for graduating those football players that they do for only about five Alabama players per year make it in professional football. So, the several dozen other graduates are on the pathway to a successful adulthood and life.
My mention of adulthood reminded me of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by the current Notre Dame president, Father John Jenkins. Father Jenkins wrote of his predecessor Reverend Theodore Hesburgh and involves three students who plastered another student, Jewish, with horrible hazing. Father Jenkins states that Rev. Hesburgh summoned the three students and told them: "Pack your bags. Go find your friend. Either you persuade him to come back to Notre Dame, or you don't come back." Rev. Hesburgh's approach worked. For the three young lads, welcome to accountability and adulthood.
Another recent half-page article in the WSJ describes all the religious wonders of N.D. in terms of the football team and Catholicism. For example, at the pre-game mass, the players can kiss a reliquary containing two splinters that Notre Dame believes came from the cross of Jesus. Team chaplain, Father Paul Doyle states that nearly all players, Catholic or not, are hard struck into reverence.
Before each game, a team captain leads the team in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Captain: "Mother of our Savior." Team: "Pray for us."
In the WSJ article, Kevin Helliker writes: "Players arriving at Notre Dame enter an extraordinarily Catholic environment compared to Boston College and Georgetown University, fellow Catholic universities embedded in large multicultural cities. Notre Dame is a monastic outpost in largely rural north-central Indiana, its campus decorated with Catholic iconography and populated with statues of saints."
If anybody has read this article this so far, they must be extreme football fans or maybe some have a lot of spare time like retirees or people in jail. Even so, they may not know about the movie "Rudy" - the greatest football movie ever. If you watch "Rudy," be you butcher, baker, candlestick maker, or abnormal sports misanthrope, you will always like Notre Dame football.