I doubt that there is a more storied history than Notre Dame University. Even though I have no direct connection (other than being part Irish), I love to watch the university’s sports, especially football.

For 40-plus years, I have watched Notre Dame football. It has become more agonizing during this past decade as the program has steadily gone downhill.

What I have heard for years is that, because of its high academic standards, the university cannot get the quality athlete that other football “factories” get. Watching the Irish play Stanford recently was enough for me to discredit that theory, as Stanford has to be one of the top five hardest schools to get into.

I am sure Notre Dame receives thousands of applications every year, so why isn’t it getting quality players? It can’t be lack of scholarships or alumni support.

Being a former coach, I know that coaching is 10 percent, while talent is 90 percent. Notre Dame has tried the nice guys, such as Jerry Faust, and the offensive guru Charlie Weiss, with no success. The middle-of-the-roaders, Parseghian and Holtz, were 75 percent successful. With the new tyrant, Jerry Kelly, I don’t see good players staying at Notre Dame under his bombastic tutelage.

I think the respect that Notre Dame has had in the past for its football program has vanished. If you look at “Touchdown Jesus,” his chin is coming ever closer to his chest, and those aren’t raindrops dripping from his eyes.

George A. Ferguson, Sabattus

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