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This Time, the Irish May Have Lost More Than a Football Game

December 07, 1985

As a lifelong Notre Dame football fan, I have pleaded like so many others for the end of the Gerry Faust era. I have longed for the return of 10-win seasons capped by rousing victories in major bowl games. I wished for the days when the Irish would march onto the field with a Top 10 ranking . . . nothing less. So on the day of Mr. Faust's resignation, the day I hoped for, why do I feel saddened and ashamed?

Gerry Faust took over Notre Dame at the worst possible time. The Irish played more top teams in the last five years than in the previous 20. College football is more competitive than it has ever been (just ask USC or Alabama). Combine these factors with the inexperience of Faust at the college level and his record should not be so surprising. But another record that should be noted, but probably won't be, is the fact that in the last four years, no team has had a higher percentage of its scholarship football athletes graduate in their scheduled four years. Not Stanford . . . not Duke . . . not Northwestern. And yet, Gerry Faust, in the eyes of so many, is a loser.

So, next September, when the Irish are on their way to another victory, my thoughts may wander to a scruffy man in a wrinkled sweater who taught me more about character and dignity than a host of others with winning percentages of .700 or better. Good luck to you, Gerry Faust.

MIKE OWENS

Huntington Beach

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