Yes yes, we're the meanies again. Same as it ever was. Folks are now getting upset because people on our restricted football board, Rock's House, are discussing the possible connections between Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick and the scandal currently overwhelming the United States Gymnastics program and its tolerance of a serial sexual predator in their medical staff. As the investigation continues and expands, Michigan State University, who employed Nassar, is finding itself a target of further investigation, and people are concerned Notre Dame, thanks to Jack Swarbrick's history with US Gymnastics, may get dragged into this maelstrom.
In her first book three years ago, Lisa Kelly shared the thoughts and memories of Notre Dame football alums and and how the Notre Dame experience helped guide them through the shoals of life to satisfaction and success. Now she goes further in her new installment, The Men We Became: More Echoes from the End Zone, to share more memories and the success of the Notre Dame Value Stream in crafting top-notch players and people. Lisa samples the spectrum of alumni careers, from the perhaps typical (medical, legal, financial) to the certainly unusual (clothing, mentoring, writing), finding the common thread of the positives Notre Dame brought into the lives of these men.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Wernle Catalyst4Change event and the opportunity to help former Irish great Daryl "Flash" Gordon in his effort to get troubled kids back on track. The event is coming up, and they're still looking for donations and folks who'd like to spend an evening listening to ND foodball alum and analyst Allen Pinkett and novelist Nicholas Sparks tell their stories. The event site is available at this link, and tickets can be purchased for $100 here. If you can't make the date but would like to donate to this worthy cause, your destination is at this link.
ND fans know "Flash" Gordon not as a cheesy space hero, but as the outstanding outside linebacker who helped Notre Dame win the national title in 1988. Jimmy Johnson was no doubt a more formidable adversary than Ming the Merciless, but today, Flash takes on a tougher foe than both, and could use our help. In 2001, after picking up his JD and a stint with the NCAA, Flash went to Richmond, IN, to work as CEO for the Wernle Children's Center. I've talked about Wernle on NDN before ... a place where troubled kids can go to get their lives back on track and be positioned to contribute positively for society.
I only met him once. But as many would tell you, once was enough. Some years back, I was asked to serve on a committee to organize a charity dinner in Chicago for Lou Holtz, Charlie Weis, and Ara Parseghian. The thought was outreach via NDN could fill a couple tables, and I was happy to contribute to that effort. Holtz was the coach during my ND tenure and I'd met him a couple times, and I'd encountered Weis through NDN before. But I'd never met Ara, and I walked into the dinner that evening hoping I could check that box.