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|Hornung probably had no idea his comments would set off such a firestorm.|
Like a lot of Notre Dame's old heads, Goldie just can't swallow the fact that his team isn't the most dominant program in the country any more. Like a few other Domers, Hornung is convinced that there is one easily identifiable obstacle keeping the Irish from the annual success that once came so easily. Never mind that parity, not athletic folklore, rules the college football roost. Since N.D.'s last title in 1988, Washington, Georgia Tech, Colorado, Miami, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, LSU and USC have held at least a share of the national championship. Over a 16-year span, that's 14 different teams who have shared the wealth. But the Domers don't want to hear that. They can't accept the fact that they aren't a dynasty, or that dynasties themselves are a rare breed. But that's their problem.
|Ty Willingham sets some pretty high standards for his players.|
But Golden Boy speaks to something I fear could become ugly truth. I fear statements like his will lead to guilt and to standards that are, indeed, lowered, and not just on the field of play. I fear that affirmative action, that complicated, wailing spawn of race relations, could be turned on its tender head. People of color could say, "Why don't you hire us?" And non-colored people -- the ones who are empathetic but also rather sick of having the terms of their business dictated to them -- will say to themselves, "We really should have some black people around here. OK, we'll hire you. But just to keep the peace, we'll take only the least ambitious, the least dynamic, the ones who are just happy to satisfy a head count."
And those dynamic non-white male types, those who offer a brand of diversity that is more than cosmetic? I fear they'll be the casualties left by the roadside.
Oh, God, I don't want to look. Alan Grant is a former NFL defensive back and the author of "Return to Glory: Inside Tyrone Willingham's Amazing First Season at Notre Dame"