Wow. Just wow. The New York Times, in a story about Michigan and Notre Dame falling on hard times this season, rips on the Irish big time:
Such underperformance raises a serious question about whether Notre Dame, and similarly Michigan, can hope to contend regularly for national championships without lowering their academic standards. This quandary occurs as many top recruits seem less sentimental about tradition and more interested in positioning themselves for big money in the N.F.L.
“The balance of power will shift to universities that have the lowest resistance to taking the top athletes with weaker academic preparation,” said Michael Oriard, an English professor at Oregon State and a former Notre Dame captain. “It’s already happening.”
Effectively, Notre Dame is now a third-tier team, Stanford with a national television contract. The Fighting Irish are 19 years removed from their last national championship, and they have endured nine consecutive losses in bowl games.
There’s also a pretty good one liner in the article about Lloyd Carr – “Carr appeared to be stunned, resembling an East Berlin apparatchik, circa 1989, who had just been told that the wall was open and people were free to cross.”
How bad has it gotten for the two schools? Bad enough that Norfolk State feels free to mock…
Others speak dismissively of these suffering teams. Asked about facing Rutgers this week, Norfolk State Coach Pete Adrian told reporters, “I’d rather be playing Michigan.”
… and it doesn’t seem outrageous.