'Notre Dame does not want me there'

Updated: June 13, 2004, 8:01 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Hall of Famer Paul Hornung said he won't return to Notre Dame football radio broadcasts this season because of a flap over his comments that the school should lower its academic standards to recruit black athletes.

"The reason I'm not going to be on the air for my last year is because Notre Dame does not want me there," Hornung told the South Bend Tribune for Sunday editions.

Associate athletic director John Heisler said even though Notre Dame has some input into who represents the school on the air, the final decision was up to Westwood One Radio, which broadcasts the games.

"What the university's position is, is only a part of it," Heisler said. "We don't control the talent on broadcasting. Westwood One determines that."

Westwood One sports director Larry Michael declined comment.

Notre Dame officials were highly critical of the remarks Hornung made during a March radio interview, saying they were racially insensitive.

Heisler was out of town Sunday and could not be reached by The Associated Press for additional comment.

Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame and Hall of Famer with the Green Bay Packers, has since apologized and said that he meant to say that Notre Dame should lower its academic standards to make it easier for athletes in general.

"I know I should not have said that. If they don't want to forgive me, then that's their problem. I've done as much as I can," Hornung told the Tribune. "They don't have to worry about me embarrassing them again. If they don't want me, they won't see me again."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press