Notre Dame Must Distance Themselves From the Lou Holtz Brand



On day one of the 2016 Republican National Convention former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz was spotted walking around with a bottle of Crown Royal. Many, or at least some, of us found that cute and quirky.

On day two of the RNC, Holtz gave an anti-immigrant rant that made it seem like he drank way too much of that Crown Royal whiskey before giving his speech.

There is absolutely nothing cute and quirky about what Lou Holtz did today, and now Notre Dame must do the right thing.

Via the Daily Beast:

Speaking at a luncheon the Republican National Coalition for Life hosted during the RNC to honor Phyllis Schlafly, Holtz said the high number of immigrants coming to the U.S. constitutes an “invasion.” And he said new immigrants need to assimilate better. Holtz added that his grandparents learned English after immigrating to the U.S. from Ukraine, and insisted his family learn it as well. New immigrants to this country, he continued, need to learn and speak English and “become us.”

“I don’t want to become you,” he continued. “I don’t want to speak your language, I don’t want to celebrate your holidays, I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team!”

Ah, the irony of someone who’s barely intelligible and very often incoherent harshly criticizing the speaking skills of others. He even included the standard soccer-phobia bit, which is gratifying red meat to bigoted backwoodsmen of all sort. It’s hard to imagine Holtz having the ability to utter the words Manchester City without it coming out horribly garbled and aesthetically displeasing to the ears.

Eleven days ago, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. did refer to general anti-immigrant rhetoric (a very understated way to describe Holtz’s remarks) as “churlish, insulting political theater.”


Jenkins denounced the anti-Mexican sentiment which has surged as Donald Trump’s popularity rises.

“The vitriol directed at the Irish … and later the Italians, and other waves of immigrants to the United States, sadly is not a thing of the past; certainly not for Mexicans in the United States who have been slandered in extraordinary ways, as has Mexico itself,” Father Jenkins said.

“It is churlish, insulting political theater, for certain. But it is not only that. It suggests that the United States distance itself from Mexico at just the time that our nations are most positively engaged with each other and poised to reap the benefits of robust trade, industrialization and entrepreneurship.”

Now ND must speak out against one of their own specifically.

The University, founded in 1842 by French immigrants, needs to remain an example of civilized discourse by thoroughly condemning Holtz’s uncivilized hate-speech.

Regarding the topic of holidays, it doesn’t appear that Holtz, who coached of the FIGHTING IRISH for a decade, even has a basic awareness of how most American holidays originated. Does he honestly believe that all American holidays were begun by Native-Americans? Is he that ignorant of the European roots of the Christian holidays?

Yes, Notre Dame does have a reputation as being a bastion for the ultra-conservative, but Holtz isn’t espousing conservative values here. He’s simply expressing xenophobic and bigoted personal opinions.

Holtz, who reportedly donated $1,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign before later endorsing Donald Trump, also repeated the ideals of Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment; the soundbite which ultimately doomed Romney’s 2012 campaign. (As pointed out by the Daily Beast)

“A lot of people make a living by the way they vote,” Holtz said. “Forty-seven percent of people make a living by the way they vote.”

“They can make a living by the way they vote,” he continued, “but they can’t make a life.”

Thinly veiled racism by Lou Holtz right there.

Now I don’t honestly believe that Notre Dame is going to take down that statue currently residing at the southern end of Notre Dame stadium, but it’s definitely something they should consider down the line. The possibility should be on the table because it’s very likely Holtz will again make remarks as offensive as this (or worse) in the future.

At the very least, they need to do something swift and decisive in damage control today.


An elite, noble institution of higher learning such as Notre Dame is where enlightened thought and advanced discussion comes to gather.

It is NOT a place to honor a man who publicly spews bigotry, intolerance and racism.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication.

He also consistently appears on numerous talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

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  1. Yes. But… The thing is… Holtz is speaking the truth. Wake up America.

  2. Disgusting comments by Lou. Now he wants everyone to believe that he was “only joking” . He is only apologizing because he was exposed for his racist ignorance. SHAMEFUL!!

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