Campus News and Hall Notes

July - September 2006

Sept. 24, 2006

Campus News:

To quote my homeboy, Flavor Flav..."Let's get this party started right." On Labor Day weekend Turtle Creek parties were busted by Indiana State Excise, St. Joseph County and Walkerton police. The police had received an anonymous complaint about the party that had been advertised on the Internet. (Real clever, today's students. Sneaky as hell.) The raid took three house and resulted in 96 tickets. Two arrests also took place. The Observer stated the name of one of the students arrested. (Real nice. Way to bag on our peers.) The police actually went undercover at the party thanks to the MySpace posting and other blogs. The tickets were given for minor in consumption, possession of false identification, and inducing a minor to consume alcoholic beverages. There was even a ticket given for marijuana possession. (His name may or may not have been "Chong.")

In other news, the University has released information on alumni donations. During the 2005-06 fiscal year, 53.2 percent of Domers gave some sort of monetary donations. That set an all-time record. The previous high was 53.0 percent of former undergraduates set in 1994. We are consistently in the top three (with Princeton and Dartmouth) in the nation for alumni giving rate. Supposedly 53.2 percent puts us in second place. Apparently Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are around 35 to 40 percent. Last year the University received approximately $181 million in cash receipts. The total includes alumni donations, parents of students, and "friends" of the University. Of that total, $25 million was in the form of unrestricted giving. That too is an all-time high. The Department of Development reaches out to 115,000 alumni through multiple mailings over the year. Personal calls and pledge calls were made by student to the tune of $2 million.

Campus Watch by the Gipper from Scholastic:

In a more recent fiasco, the Gipp is warning all off-campus windows to be on the lookout for a suspect. An older tipster tells me a friend of his got a ride home from a party and was carried to his room (which revisits the age-old question, "How much do you tip the delivery-man?"). Inevitably, the character had to "expel the poison" in his local lavatory. Yet something inside his head told him to exit the bathroom immediately ("Snakes in a John?"). The tipster tells us that the gentleman started running through the house, while still tossing cookies all over his bad self. His wind sprint came to a crash when he didn't notice where the room ended and put his head through the kitchen window. Let's repeat. Our brain surgeon put his head THROUGH A KITCHEN WINDOW. Somehow, our character came away from the scene without any serious harm done. No word on if he has apologized to the window. Thankfully this event did not happen on the roof of a building or it could have been a real contender for the Darwin Awards.

Hall Notes:

The Vermin football team is back in action. First up was Sorin. Prior to the game, the Sorin captain had declared, "I feel like we could skip a game and put our friends from St. Mary's out there and they'd still win." Serious or joking? He then stated, "I think this is the best team we've ever had. Really, I don't think there's any way we'll lose a game." Tongue-in-cheek or foot-in-mouth? Carroll won 15-6. The game was put out of reach with a 29 yard fourth quarter touchdown pass. It came after an interception. The Otters were gaining 7 yards a carry but nothing in the air. Meanwhile, the Vermin threw for 112 yards in the first half with a 63% completion rate. Eat your heart out, Brady Quinn.


Michigan weekend wasn't an entire loss. five-star cornerback Gary Gray verbally committed to us. The 5'11", 165 lb. South Carolina product is Charlie's 9th commitment. Gray is a corner, quarterback and kick returner for Richland Northeast High School. Tom Lemming rates him 54th overall. Gary has excellent change of direction, closing speed, and jamming ability. He's also aggressive in run support. But he needs to add weight. Gray is an interesting commitment. He had verbally agreed to go to South Carolina. Then he wavered. We did not call him. He called us. Then he came for a visit. His mother was pushing for us. So long, Steve Spurrier. Gary plans to enroll for the spring semester.

Four arrests were made for counterfeiting tickets through the first two home games. One bust was made for Penn State and three for Michigan. The men detained are from the Bronx. They are believed to be part of a larger group of organized crime. Over 100 Notre Dame tickets were linked to the men. It is also believed they were the group behind the counterfeiting of NFL tickets. Bill Kirk aided in capturing the men. He spotted a forgery being scalped and busted the guy. See, he busts everybody, not just students.

The women's soccer team is still undefeated and, therefore, still #1. Michele Weissenhofer is pushing for Freshman of the Year. Through 8 games she has 20 points (2nd in the country) and 10 assists (1st amongst all freshmen).

The rankings are out for tennis. The senior Thompson Twins are the #3 rated doubles team in women's tennis for the fall.

Sept. 17, 2006

Campus News:

A developer has been selected for a proposed retail and residential district just south of campus. Indianapolis-based developer Kite Realty Group has "exclusive negotiations" in the Eddy Street Commons project. The deal is not yet in writing, though. The project includes two new residential areas. The retail area's number of shops is "up to the developer" to decide. The current plans call for 85,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The cost is unknown at this time.

South Bend's mayor said the developement project will bring "new energy, new investment and new attention" to the area. This new project will accompany other revitalization efforts in the area. Both the city and the University view this as a way to bring the community and the school together.

Rough estimates put the start date at 2007 with completion in 2008. The developer is talking to many companies to keep the project on track. Kite Realty is looking for a mix of local, regional and national companies. The residential areas will include single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. The first shopping section will be located at Eddy and Angela Streets, north of Napoleon Street. A different commercial district is planned at the "Five Points" intersection at Eddy and South Bend Avenue. In addition to the 85,000 square feet of retail at Eddy and Angela, 25,000 square feet of office space is planned for the second floors. At the edge of the retail development along Angela, a 150-room, full-service hotel will be built. The hotel will be in line with the Stadium and the library. There will be a vast green space from the hotel to the Stadium, similar in theory to the tree-lined park connecting the Potomac River to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.. And other universities have been analyzed regarding their mix of retail and residential in relation to their campuses.

Campus Watch by the Gipper from Scholastic:

Our first tale takes us back to the very end of last year. You know, back before you became the only person to buy Paris Hilton's CD. Damn that "Stars are blind!" The hook is so catchy! Anyway, the tipster tells me that while spending time at a late night on-campus hang out, he noticed a couple engaged in World War III in a booth. While seeing a thrilling tet-a-tet such as this is one of the Gipp's favorite spectator sports, what followed was what made this particular fracas memorable. They argued about time (her desire to spend time sucking his soul vs. his desire to spend time alone with his Jessica Simpson poster), money (her desire to spend his money on makeup vs. his desire to spend his money on prostitutes) and other abstractions (her desire for him to shower vs. his desire for her to shut the hell up). At one point, the girl screamed that she didn't want a campus job because she would only use the money "to buy food and get fat." Because the Gipp took Intro to Philo, he finds her argument valid and her logic sound. As the male started weeping, the girl repeatedly "shhhh"-ed him loudly every time he opened his mouth to cry like a newborn infant. Nearby students caught on to the hottest trend quickly, imitating the "shhhh" every time it was uttered by our female protagonist. The ordeal lasted over three hours, according to our tipster, and the whole time the couple seemed oblivious to the fact that they were a bigger campus attraction than Brady Quinn's guns of steel.

Hall Notes:

Last weekend had all the feel of a Vermin reunion. Thanks to John "Culter" Butler '96, all the Vermin have a tailgater to attend. Just look for the maroon flag with the gold "V." The most veteran Vermin in attendance was Greg Nowak '95. The class of '96 was well represented: Butler, Pimpi Diaz, Bill "Boo Yaa" Edwards, Ryan "O-Dogg" O'Leary, Kevin "Cricketman" Reichart, and Tim Nelson. Dave Ratliffe, Mike "Rangers" Reider, and Dan Delgado all represented the Class of '97. And apparently there were Vermin from the '80s floating around but I didn't have the good fortune to catch their storiees to share with y'all. Sorry 'bout that. Maybe they'll happen upon this site and share in their wisdom.


Recruiting under Charlie Weis has a whole new foundation. When recruits come to campus they more or less become honorary Domers. Charlie, being a Domer and all, actually gives recruits a personal tour of the campus. And at football games they stand in the student section. (In the past they were solely on the sideline.) One recruit from Tennessee was in awe of the 45,000 people in attendance at the Friday pep rally in the Stadium. All the recruits were staring as the students were up and doing push-ups as we were lighting up Penn State. Word on the street is prized receiver recruit Arrelious Benn was up doing push-ups. Let's hope that's an indication he's on board. After all, that was his third visit.

Prior to the Michigan game our kickoff return coverage was in the top 10. Last year we allowed 21.22 yards per kickoff. That was only good for 72nd. After beating Penn State we were ninth, yielding only 14.25 yards. And that does not include three touchbacks in the first two games.

Three Domers are on the Detroit Shock, the WNBA's 2006 Champion. Coach Bill Laimbeer is the Shock's oldest ND graduate. On the team are Ruth Riley and Jacqueline Batteast. It is the second championship for the Shock.

The men's soccer team started the year ranked #6. The squad has nine starters back from a team that made the Sweet 16 last year. Recently the team beat perennial powerhouse Indiana. We won 5-4 in overtime and rode the back of Joseph Lapina who scored four goals in the game.

Ever wonder about the history of the "Play Like a Champion Today" sign? A piece has been posted on the "Articles of Interest" page telling the tale of the sign's birth.

Sept. 10, 2006

Campus News:

Last week cable on campus was discussed. There have been more electronic updates. The University had a cellular antenna system project lined up for the summer to improve cell phone service on campus. It was supposed to be ready for the beginning of the school year. The project hit a snag when officials learned state approval was needed to add antennas to older buildings on campus. Buildings more than 45 years old must go through a process with the state historical preservation office. As of late August all but one of the sites had been approved and work resumed on the others. The approval process set the project back about six weeks.

Last spring the University announced agreements with Cingular and Verizon to boost service on campus. "Five bar" service was the goal to reach by placing sixteen "stealth" antennas on campus. The antennas are two-and-a-half feet tall and about 18 inches wide. They are stealthily placed on light poles, building facades and rooftops. Only Verizon and Cingular customers benefit, obviously. (Keep that in mind, alums, when you visit campus for games this fall.) But Cingular's improved coverage won't kick in until October. Verizon's will be better a little later probably. In the interim, temporary mobile transmitters are located around campus. So if you see a fenced area near South Dining Hall, McKenna Hall, Stepan Center, and the Bookstore, just know its for cell phones and not increased NBC coverage of Brady Quinn's dorm and class schedule. Verizon already has a tower on Warren Golf Course and needed only six more antennas. The phone companies are bearing the cost of the entire project. The access to campus is not limited. Other carriers can get in on it as long as their students complain loud enough.

Campus Watch by Me:

Well, school has been going for three weeks now. There has been no mention of Colin Falls being off the basketball team. He is still on the roster. Thankfully that rumor has turned out to be bogus. He has not been booted and the story is closed.

But there is a story of someone who DID get booted off campus. Charlie Weis had purchased the home of former "coach" Bob Davie. The week before our first game is when Charlie finally moved into his new home which was being built over in Granger. Fortunately for Weis he exited the Davie household. Unfortunately for viewers we had to listen to Davie while watching the Georgia Tech game in our households. Sometimes ya just can't win.

Hall Notes:

Last year I do not recall a single football player living in Carroll. Last weekend I biked by the dorm to check out the dorm roster. (Yes, I called it a "roster.") I scanned both columns of names and was about to walk away disappointed. Then I got to the "W"s. I saw one name I recognized. Freshman center Dan Wegner lives on the second floor of The Hotel. Wegner was a high school teammate of freshman starting right tackle Sam Young. They are both from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Let's see how Dan does for his first winter living in the farthest dorm on campus. Right now he's not listed as a backup. He's #51 and apparently a little ways down the depth chart. Just keep an eye out for the Vermin.


#1 vs. #1. Our women's soccer team was #1 in one poll. Santa Clara was #1 in another poll. The two teams faced off here last weekend. Santa Clara took the lead 1-0. In the second half the lady Irish exploded. We scored three goals in nine minutes and took the victory 3-1. Our starting lineup features three freshmen. And two of our top players were overseas. Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew were competing in the Under-20 World Championships which were being held in Russia.

The women's basketball team has six freshmen joining this year's squad. Three of the first four to commit are from Indiana. Melissa Lechlitner is a 5'7" point guard from St. Joseph's High School right across the street from campus. Last year she scored 21.4 ppg and dished out 6.8 apg. In four years with Melissa at the helm, St. Joseph's was 88-16. Coach McGraw labeled her the best point guard in the country. Guard Ashley Barlow is from Indianapolis. Last year she scored 25.1 ppg and snagged 9.2 rpg while being only 5'8". Barlow was the 55th best rated player in the nation. She can play the 1, 2 or 3 spots. Danielle Ben-Tsvulum is a 6'3" forward from Fort Wayne. She totaled 11.8 ppg and had 9.1 rpg last year. Erica Williamson is from North Carolina. She is a 6'4" center who scored 10 ppg and collected 7.5 rpg. Her team was 27-3 and won state. Those four were fall signees. Two more signed letters-of-intent in the spring. Brittany Murphy hails from McDonough High School in Baltimore. The 6'0" guard averaged 19.4 ppg last year. Becca Bruszewski of Wheeler (Ind.) High School joins the Irish after averaging 22.5 ppg and 10.1 rpg. Becca is 6'1" and played all positions in high school but is expected to be a small forward.

Football notes on the Penn State game: Zibby scored the 6th touchdown of his career on the fumble return (2 INT returns, 2 fumble returns, 2 punt returns)....15 of our 28 freshman have played in the first two games...we were only 5 of 14 on 3rd down but 4 of 4 on 4th down....special teams captain Travis Thomas was the one who called the fake punt. He has the authority to call the play in the opposing team's front is vulnerable. He called his own number and took it 43 yards.

Sept. 3, 2006

Campus News:

Cable is now in all 27 dorms. The installation began in December '05 and continued throughout the summer. This process coincided with the installation of wireless Internet access. The University says it made the move to stay in step with other schools. The main upgrade was said to be ResNet with the cable being a secondary bonus. Students are no longer allowed to use satellite dishes on campus. Students, of course, are thrilled by the change. It has influenced some in their television purchases. Others said cable and wireless internet may influence then to stay in the dorm instead of moving off-campus. Those using the standard cable-channel line up do not pay any additional cost. The cost is included in room and board fees. Expanded cable packages are available. Additional channels are available from five to forty dollars per month. Welcome to the resurgence of the common room.

Recently news was provided on the library and how it received funds from the Fiesta Bowl payout. The University just released information on how the Fiesta money was divided. After the University paid all expenses associated with the bowl appearance, $11.2 million was remaining. The library received $1.5 million. One million went to endowing job placement services for spouses of new hires. The biggest allocation was $2.7 million for equipment for the new Jordan Hall of Science. Financial aid received $2 million for undergrads and $2 million for grad students. One million allowed an increase in endowed undergraduate summer research by ten slots. Architecture grad student aid went up by $500,000. The same increase was given to Master of business administration student aid. Over the past 25 years, bowl game revenues have exceeded $80 million. Between bowl money and the NBC contract, more than 2,000 scholarships have been provided.

Campus Watch from the South Bend Tribune:

Technically this isn't on campus but it's still interesting....

You will no longer be seeing Aaron Taylor give analysis on ABC's coverage of college football. Aaron has walked away from broadcasting for a chance to do charitable work. He will stay in San Diego and be on the board of a mentoring organization called "Boys to Men," help the YMCA with fundraising, and provide additional assistance for children and education. Prior to spending two years with ABC, Taylor almost turned away from the job to become an elementary school teacher. Aaron is also the president of the San Diego chapter of the NFL Players Association for retired players. (He played six years in the pros.) He's passionate about helping athletes make the transition out of football. Taylor struggled with alcoholism after his playing days and wants to help others avoid such pitfalls. A retreat is planned for February.

Aaron was well paid at ABC, but the dollars went elsewhere. He established the "Aaron Taylor Impact Fund" and donated his entire salary to it while with ABC. The charity benefits nonprofit organizations for children and education. "There was an element of my life that was missing, and that was the philanthropic aspect of it," he said. "I found a happy medium. It alleviated all the guilt I had of doing this really cool, fun job that paid well but I wasn't doing anything with." Once again a Domer makes the Family proud.

Hall Notes:

There is an update already on Cris "Pimpi" Diaz '96. When last we left the Diaz Soap Opera, Cris was leaving the sunshine state for the Bend as a relocated Nike employee. But the midwestern Nike gig turned out to be a mere stepping stone en route to a Fighting Irish opportunity. Diaz is now a Director of Retail with Fan Action, Inc., the parent company of Blue & Gold Illustrated and Blue & Gold Traditions. According to Cris, Fan Action is "the #2 Notre Dame merchandise website behind the Bookstore." His main duty will be to open four stores in the Bend in the next five years. The first store opened this past week. Blue and Gold Sportshop is located right across the street from the 'Backer. The job also includes oversight of the catalog operation located in St. Louis.


The Good News: we got the win and the defense looked tremendously better. Tech was only able to manage 71 yards the entire second half. Over the last two quaters, All-World receiver Calvin Johnson caught two passes for 16 yards. Also, the Yellow Jackets were only 2 of 10 on third down. Oh, and why the hell is Samardjiza's hair so short?

The soccer season is only one week in and already our women have climbed to #1. In the various polls we started with a ranking of about #4 o #5. Three of the top teams lost in their first week and two others tied. And just like that we are back at #1.

Coach Brey has a verbal commitment out of Texas for next year already. Carlton Scott is a 6'8", 200 lb small forward attending Madison High School in San Antonio. Scott is a strong defender and should be well disciplined as a military brat. Other schools seeking Scott were Texas Tech and Vanderbilt.

After fall practice Charlie awarded four scholarships. Three went to unheralded but hard-working walk-ons. The fourth went to defensive lineman Travis Leitko who continues to improve during his comeback.

Over the summer, sophomore Lindsay Schrader was one of thirty-seven to try out for the USA Under-20 National Team.

The 4th annual Collegiate Power Rankings recently came out. It examines academics, athletics, and graduation rates. We were third out of all Division I schools.

Aug. 27, 2006

Campus News:

Did you know the City of South Bend is now offering tours as a part of Freshmen Orientation? The Senate Community Relations committee has teamed up with the city to show new students what South Bend has to offer. Student government, the mayor, and some local businesses are hosting the first-ever "Explore South Bend Tour." Last Monday at noon, city buses took students for about a 90 minute tour. Local volunteers spoke about living in the city and highlighting what makes the Bend unique. The tour made stops at the East Race Waterway, the Century Center, and the College Football Hall of Fame. Lunch was provided by local pizzerias. The tour ended with students mingling with the mayor, city council representatives, and the student body president. Tour sign ups were encouraged at DomerFest last Saturday by the city bus company that offered a free iPod to one lucky tourist. Some restaurants also gave out free gift certificates. The aim was to get 200 participants and the hope was for the tour to become an annual event.

Incoming freshmen are learning about the Code of Honor in a new way. Over the summer they were exposed to an electronic tutorial. Students must successfully complete the tutorial before they can sign the honor code pledge. The pledge must be signed in order to enroll. The Web-based program takes students through a series of case studies in four areas where honesty issues arise. The four areas are acceptable collaboration with others, falsifying data, test taking and plagiarism. Eighty-five percent of freshmen passed on their first attempt. (Look for the other fifteen percent to become lawyers or politicians.)

Campus Watch by Me:

Assorted football facts that have been picked up recently from various publications and/or the mouth of Charlie:

Charlie really is the smartest coach in college football. It has been stated that Charlie entered ND with a perfect SAT score.

Weis says the strongest player on the team, pound-for-pound, is most likely Asaph Schwapp. Schwapp also "doesn't have a selfish bone in his body." He just loves to hit people. Very rarely does he carry the ball and when he does, our defense cringes.

Charlie is looking for speed, speed, speed on defense. The Travis Thomas experiment is working wonders on defense. The freshmen corners are pushing the starters bigtime. If the defense reacts instead of thinks, look for our lads to surprise all our opponents with our quickness to the ball.

Watch the speed of two freshmen offensive players. RB Prince Munir and WR/KR George West can move. Both are small and light, though. West is a Joey-Getherall-esque 5'8" and Munir is only 175 lbs. But speed kills.

Freshman Sam Young is starting at right tackle. The offense, defense and coaches are all in awe. He's been called a "man-child" who is up to the challenge of starting as a frosh in college.

Hall Notes:

The Vermin received new windows. I swung by the dorm just before all the students descended on campus. A lift machine was present and old windows were being stacked against the building. Both sides of the dorm were outfitted with the new glass. The windows are not as impressive as the new ones Farley received, but they are still better than anything at zahm. It would have been nice if the dorm could have received an upgrade for the volleyball court out front as well. By the looks of things, jungle rules are the ONLY way volleyball could be played on the Vermin courts.


The first game of the season is next week at Georgia Tech. The Sept. 2 game is on ABC. The nighttime kickoff is scheduled for 8:00pm EST. We are #2 in the AP poll and #3 in the Coaches Poll.

A new sports facility just opened. The Robert & Marilyn Rolfs Family All-Season Varsity Golf Facility opened to the northeast of campus on the fringe of the golf course. The facility cost $2.1 million. It contains fully-furnished lockerrooms for the men and women's teams. There are offices for both staffs and a players lounge. A club repair room has also been provided. Two-hitting bays can accommodate six players. The bays have sliding doors that open to the driving range. And state-of- the-art video equipment and technology are present to record swings for review. The biggest feature is the 5,000 square-foot indoor short game area that includes a putting green, a chip & pitch area, and a practice bunker.

We have received a transfer football player. Former local high school star Thomas Bemenderfer has transferred from Northwestern. The 6'5", 280 lb. offensive lineman must sit out the '06 season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

The Thompson Twins are on fire on the tennis courts. Just before the summer ended they won their second pro tournament. The ladies are beginning their senior years for the Irish. Oh how after this year I will miss bringing a little '80s culture to Irish sporting news.

Aug. 20, 2006

Campus News:

Will we make another BCS game? Our library may depend on it. A portion of last year's $14.5 million payout went to the library. It was needed considering how journal prices are outpacing allocated funds. Apparently we are lagging behind comparable institutions. Unlike other schools were are a relative newcomer to the research scene. Research has been emphasized in only the past four decades. Our library has barely three million volumes. Columbia University had 11 million volumes. In the mid-1960s. Some believe we can begin to catch up through technology. Harvard and Yale have huge paper collections but technology has made these same sources available electronically. All that is needed is money. Library collections are funded from University allocations and endowments. This funding is being strained by the rising costs of journal subscriptions, especially in the electronic format. Prices have risen about eight percent a year. One science journal, Brain Research, costs $24,000 per year. Not all departments have endowments. The social science department runs out right away. Many run out of allocation money within the first couple weeks of the academic year. The gap is growing between departments that have money and those that don't. Some are forced to cancel subscriptions to valuable electronic and paper journals. Undergrads are affected the least. Faculty and graduate students suffer the most. Despite the setbacks, progress is still being made. Between 1996 and 2001, the University doubled the Library Acquisition Fund. Since then there was a one-time supplemental provided for two years. But the annual problem remains. Yearly allocations have steadily increased, though. A campaign to raise funds began in 2004 and will end in 2011. That campaign will be aided if we play in one of football's biggest post-season games.

Campus Watch by Me:

Check this out... Word on the street is that senior basketball player Colin Falls has been kicked out of school. I heard this a couple weeks ago. The grapevine says it was because of a du Lac violation. No word on what type of violations it was. It seems too far-fetched to be true. Falls seems as laid back and trouble-free as ever an athlete could be. If it's true we are even more screwed in basketball this year. Ouch.

Hall Notes:

This is already news, but I'm repeating it for the record and

Dean Busack '97 is the newest Vermin father. his lovely wife Jessica gave birth to Isabella Marie on august 10 at 8:12pm. The young lady tipped the scales at 8 lbs 13 oz. And she stretched out to 21 inches. Mom is a model-esque 5'10" while Dad is 6'3"-ish. So Isabella will likely be on the Irish baskeball or volleyball team in 18 years. The family resides in Newark, Ohio, a town northeast of Columbus.


The Irish are on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine this week. You might be out of luck with the ESPN Mag, though, because they apparently have regional covers.

Check out the revamped ND athletics page:

There are almost daily video clips available of practice reports, Charlie press conferences, and player interviews. Constantly check out the site over the course of the year. The University has committed to expanded coverage for all sports and it will all be FREE.

The men's track and field team won the Big East tournament while the women were second. The men were down 24 points entering the last day. For the fourth time ('99, '00, '03) the men's team won the Coaching Staff of the Year. Kurt Benninger was the Big East champ in the 1500 m. For the women, Molly Huddle won the Most Outstanding Performer award. She did so after winning both the 5000 m and the 10,000 m. Huddle is only the second to do so in the same meet.

Three track stars won All American honors at the NCAAs. Molly Huddle finished 2nd in the 5000 m, our highest ever finish by an Irish woman. She won her 9th All-American honor and tied a school record. Junior Thomas Chamney finished 6th in the 800 m. Finally, senior Emily Loomis cleared 5'10.75" for 8th in the high jump.

Tennis stud Sheeva Parbhu competed on the USTA Summer Collegiate Team. He was one of twelve (six men and six women) invited to be on the team. As a sophomore Sheeva was 33-8. He was ranked #28. For his career Parbhu is 65-15.

One last note to cap off last year's sports news. We had five students win Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Awards. Patrick Buchanan won for tennis. Track was represented by Maryann Erigha. Baseball player Greg Lopez was honored. One football player, Matt Mitchell, received an award. Finally, Noriko Nakazaki brought recognition to the women's golf team.

Aug. 13, 2006

Campus News:

The joint honors program in the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Science recently received a $10 million gift from a California couple. John W. and Barbara Glynn will establish the Glynn Family Honors Program. It will replace the Arts & Letters and Science Honors Program which was established in 1983. Beginning in the fall of 2007, students in the honors program will be known as Glynn Scholars. One hundred students will be admitted into the program per year. The overall total of four hundred will be far greater than the current total of 60 to 80 students. The donation will allow every student in the program to become eligible for summer research fellowships to pursue original research projects at Notre Dame or other universities.

John Glynn '62 is the founder and president of Glynn Capital Management in Menlo Park, Calif. He studied history here. Then he received a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and an MBA from Stanford University. John has served on ND's College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council since 1998. And since 2000 he has been on the advisory board of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Glynn has been a venture capital investor in private companies since 1970. For the past 23 years, John has served as an advisory partner to New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm managing more than $5 billion.

Barbara Glynn has bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Trinity College and the University of Virginia, respectively. She is a co-founder of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

Campus Watch by Me:

Have a hard time getting tickets in the lottery? How many games did you get? A lot fewer than in the past? Word on the street is the regular alum ticket allotment is getting pinched. Certainly tickets are available for students. And staff. And faculty. And players. And Monogram members. And old school season ticket holders. And assorted other groups. The University never tells exactly how many tickets are available for regular alums. I wonder if the number dwindles based on how much money other parties donate. I heard through the grapevine that for the first time the University was approaching companies about being able to receive tickets. These companies may have been able to get tickets in the past but now they were being told that if they shelled out a greater "donation" they could get in on some sort of company lottery. Therefore, they would have a greater chance of getting more tickets. That's the rumor anyway. Some might call it a shakedown. Others might say it would make Jesse Jackson proud.

Hall Notes:

Vermin Carlyle Holiday is still on the roster for the Arizona Cardinals as a wide receiver. He is one of seven receivers trying to land a spot on the team for the whole season. Based on those seven, Carlyle looks to be fifth best with a shot at the fourth slot. He should make the team and most likely contribute on special teams. In the first pre-season game he had two catches for 10 yards.

Don't forget the other Vermin in the NFL. Julius Jones totes the pigskin for Dallas. Anthony Weaver is now suiting up at defensive end for the Houston Texans. And Bert Berry will try to bounce back from a season cut short by injury. Look for the Arizona defense to suprise teams with Bert leading the way up front. Bert had the only Cardinal sack in the team's first pre-season game.


Football practice began this past week. Let the news begin: RB Travis Thomas has been asked to try out for weakside linebacker. Weis wants speed and athleticism on the field. He told Thomas he was one of the best 22 players on the team. He's a solid tackler on special teams and was a stellar defensive player in high school. Thomas still wants to run the ball and would not mind double duty....RB Junior Jabbie has rejoined the team after leaving in the spring....sophomore wide receiver D.J. Hord is lost for the year. He had surgery on July 6 for a torn Achilles tendon. The injury occurred from a freak accident in the weight room.....OT Ryan Harris will be held out of practice for a couple weeks because of an injury....frosh RB James Aldridge has an undisclosed injury and may be out for the Georgia Tech game....LB Abdel Banda is now on medical scholarship and is done with football. His whole career has been nothing but injuries....frosh RB Prince Munir is impressing everyone with his speed....former blue-chipper Travis Leitko is back on the team as a walk-on hoping to win a scholarship. He is 15 to 20 lbs heavier at 270. Travis is impressing Weis and is playing DT and DE....frosh OL Chris Stewart is 55 lbs lighter than in the spring and Weis has him "under 340"....Charlie said our offseason gains have been huge in strength, conditioning, and has Brady and Jeff as pre-season 1st Team All Americans....Brady, Jeff and Darius are on the Maxwell Award watchlist for the nation's best player....Tommy Z is on the watchlist for the Chuck Bednarik Award for the top defensive player.... Ryan Harris is on the Outland Trophy (linemen) watchlist....Victor Abiamiri is on the Hendricks watchlist for defensive linemen.

Let's go with some golf news. (Don't worry. It's brief.) The women's golf team did not fare as well as the men. They tied for third at the Big East Championships. And the coach has been fired/not had her contract renewed. (But that hasn't been revealed yet. It's on the D.L. Shhhhhhh.)

Aug. 6, 2006

Campus News:

You can no longer drive on Juniper Road through campus. The northern most portion of the road has been torn out. Remember where Douglas Road and Juniper intersected on the north side of campus? The intersection is gone. Remember how Juniper curved to the west, just north of campus before straightening out? That's gone too. The new intersection is to the west. It is immediately east of the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union. Juniper to the north of campus is perfectly straight now. Douglas Road is also now fully open to traffic. It has been widened to four lanes in all the newly constructed area. The road construction did not stop there.

Juniper, so far, has been torn out south to the East Gate. But a new east-west road was put in to connect the Stepan Center road to the student parking lot directly to the east. You can still get to the East Gate from the north. To the east of the old Douglas-Juniper intersection is a road running to the south. This new road hits into the road that used to just lead to the student lots before dead ending. The new road ties into that former dead end and can lead you to the East Gate.

And new lanes have been added on the east side of the JACC. Sure, there were lanes there before. But the new ones are far wider. Therefore, the stands along Moose Krause Field had to be torn down and new fencing put in. Plenty of curb has gone in around the JACC. There used to be just open parking lots to the northeast and southeast of the JACC. The new curb is to create little parking lots. Entry and exit gates that require card swipes have been installed. No more innocent parking around the JACC. It's not just straight curb either. These are curb islands with grass in between to add an element of landscaping to a former asphalt haven. So there are grass encircled parking lots inside of formerly open parking lots. Got that?

An article has been posted about actor Jim Caviezel (of "The Passion of the Christ" fame) and his relationship with ND.

Campus Watch by Me:

The remainder of Charlie Weis' speech before the Monogram Club...

"I also grew up in the mentality of understanding what Notre Dame is all about. Tonight I talked [with Debbie Brown] and learned a lot more about the volleyball program, because I actually support the other sports here. I try to pop in to see just about every other team play. I try not to be a distraction, but I like to see what is going on. From somebody who went to school here and was not an athlete here, the one message or theme that I give to anyone who represents this university - especially as a coach, whether it is as a football coach, a volleyball coach, or another coach - I tell people that the one thing you have to understand about this place is that tradition never graduates. It doesn't make a difference who graduates. We are a special place. Tradition never graduates. I can already tell you that heading into next year, before we play one game, there will be a lot of cynics at the end of this coming season, saying, 'Well, you lost Quinn, you lost Samardzija, you lost McKnight, you lost your offensive line, you lost Abiamiri and Landri, you lost guys from your secondary.' And I'm going to say, 'So what?'

"I'm not happy with how the season went. I'm very disappointed, to be perfectly honest with you. I felt I blew the Michigan State game. I think the team came in flat. We rallied, which was nice, but the bottom line is that we lost, and that's not good. Against USC, we can talk about that play as long as you want, but the bottom line is we had an opportunity to win, and we didn't. That's just the way it is. Let's quit whining about it; they won, and we lost. That's just the way it goes. We had an opportunity to put them away, and we didn't. That's our fault, and I obviously will take that responsibility. Then we went to the bowl game, and we came out flat. I will take responsibility for that, too. Hopefully I learned a little bit about that long layoff. I'm used to a week or two weeks before a Super Bowl. I really hadn't experienced that long a time period. I think I learned some valuable lessons of how I will do it differently this year."

Hall Notes:

This past March our oldest alum turned 101. I.I. Probst graduated (I believe) in 1926. Maybe 1925. He writes two year columns in Notre Dame Magazine, Pre 1926 and 1926. In the Spring 2006 issue, Probst began his Pre 1926 column with the following: "When I lived in Carroll Hall, which was located in the Main Building, one of my classmates had the last name of Coffey." One hundred one years and still writing for his classmates. Classic Domer overachiever.


Junior sabre specialist Mariel Zagunis won the pretigious World Cup Trophy for finishing at the top of the rankings. She is only the second American (male or female) to win a World Cup total-points trophy. Zagunis won a Gold Medal for the U.S. in 2004.

Seniors Catrina and Christian Thompson won their first pro tennis doubles title. The women did not accept the prize money and, therefore, maintained their amateur status.

Junior forward Amanda Cinalli recently competed in the Nordic Cup on the U.S. Under-21 National Team. The U.S. made it to the final but fell to Germany 2-0.

Former freshman Erik Condra was drafted in the 7th round of the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators. The frosh right wing led us in scoring last year. He was the first freshman to do so since 1997.

The men's golf team won their third consecutive Big East title. The men won in an epic way. The fellas were down by 12 strokes entering the final round. They ended in a tie with Louisville and beat them on the first hole of sudden death. The men collectively shot a record setting -16 and had a school record round of 272. The men were the #16 seed of the 27-team NCAA East Regional. The top 10 of the 3 regionals advanced. The men were 17th in the East.

July 30, 2006

Campus News:

The University recently received a $3 million gift to go toward the construction of a new softball stadium. The donation comes from Linda and Paul Demo, the mother and stepfather of alum Melissa Cook. Cook was one of four people killed in March 2002 when scaffolding fell from the John Hancock Center onto her car in downtown Chicago. Melissa's cousin also died and seven other people were injured in the accident.

Earlier this year the families of the deceased and injured reached a settlement with the skyscraper's owner and other companies named in a joint lawsuit. Melissa's family have devoted the majority of their settlement to Notre Dame and to their Melissa Cook Memorial Foundation, which will provide financial assistance to students from northwest Indiana to the college of their choice.

The 1,500-seat Melissa Cook Stadium will be built on the southeast portion of the campus near Eck Baseball Stadium. The estimated cost is $4.8 million for the facility. Construction will not begin until the project is fully funded. Additional funding is actively being sought.

Cook was a native of Merrillville, Indiana. She played for the Irish in 1991 and 1992 at second base, shortstop, and catcher. As a freshman she led the team in triples and earned one monogram. Melissa majored in accounting and earned her bachelor's degree in 1994. She was the controller for Teamsters Union Local 786.

Campus Watch by Me:

Well, I'm officially out of Scholastic items from the Gipper. I do have some random news that should hold us over for a month or so until new Scholastics come out. The follow is an excerpt from a Monogram dinner speech by Charlie Weis:

"Before I get going, I want to thank [my wife] Maura and [my son] Charlie for coming tonight. I was sitting a couple seats away from [NFL Hall of Famer] Gale Sayers at a basketball game this year, and I thought about his book that I read when I was younger, called I Am Third that was inspired by [Sayers' teammate] Brian Piccolo and made into the movie `Brian's Song.' I remember the saying, `God is first. My family is second. And I am third,' and how much of an impact those quotes had on me when I read that book. I tweaked that a little bit with my own personality - as I normally do. I think Notre Dame football has to come in third, and I get pushed to fourth or fifth!"

"I've been thinking about where I was last year when I spoke to you and where I am now. I really like the fact that the bar has been raised. I really like that. The number one sin that can occur at this time is that people say that you are preseason ranked really high after last year no one even cared about you, and now your players are going to have big heads. Trust me - I will bring them down. Big heads are not going to be the problem. I will let them have big heads until about August 6 when they show up. Then those heads are going to be beaten on a regular basis. I'm not worried about the magazines. I'm not worried about the hype. I'm just worrying about winning one game at a time, because that is the mentality that I grew up in."

Hall Notes:


I'm assuming most Vermin classes and/or generations had their own Vermin-Speak, sayings and phrases unique to Carroll. Did my generation definitely have its share?... 100 times. 100 times and 0 times were our ways of saying "yes" or "no." 100 times referred to "100 out of 100 times" and vice versa for 0 times. Every once in awhile someone would throw "50 times" or "17 times." A hush would usually follow, then contemplation which would lead to a thoughtful agreement. 17 times.... Yeah, that sounds about right.

And I cannot forget "Oh, my head." I have no idea who or how either of these sayings began. All I know is no other dorm new what the hell we were talking about. "Oh my head" was more or less an exclamation to something just said or something that just occurred. Can't believe it?..."Oh my head!" He said what?!?!..."Oh my head!" I still use it to this day. I take pride in employing it during run-ins with fellow Vermin. To NOT use it would certainly lead one to lament..."oh my head." Those who forget the past are doomed to stop repeating classic Vermin-Speak.


Our new baseball coach is a bit of an unknown. But his track record is solid. Dave Schrage has been coaching for 19 years with 15 of those at the Division I level. His last four years have been with the Aces of Evansville. Last year his team won its conference regular season and conference tournament. They reached the NCAA Regional Championship and finished #19. The Chicago-native also coached at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Northern Illinois. Schrage played centerfield at Creighton. His actual first coaching job was as a staff member for one Paul Mainieri who just left our program. Dave comes highly recommended. He took over Northern Illinois after a 4-51 year. The next season they won 24 games. Let's see if he can keep this train a-rollin'.

Speaking of baseball.... Jeff Samardzija is already out of Boise. He's now with Class A Peoria. With Boise he was 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA in four starts. In 14 innings he had 15 strikeouts and 4 walks... And Craig Cooper finished as the NCAA leader in runs scored per game in '06. He also received 5 All-American honor from various organizations.

Speaking of softball... the ladies again won the Big East. They defeated #18 Louisville 1-0 in the Big East Championship. The women again won at least 40 games but failed to advance beyond the NCAA Regional.

Chris Quinn and Torin Francis were not selected in the NBA Draft. But they were both signed by the Miami Heat to be on their summer league team. A roster spot is not guaranteed. In other words, Francis had better not spend it all in one place.

July 23, 2006

Campus News:

University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC led a delegation of six on a week long trip in late May and early June. The group went on a short but productive fact-finding trip to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The goal was to meet with government, education, and business leaders to gain greater understanding of the region and to identify the future role of Asian studies at ND. Dinners were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei with between 40 and 55 alumni in attendance at each event. Father Jenkins presented charters to the newly-formed Notre Dame Clubs of Beijing and Shanghai. Accompanying Jenkins were Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Lin, faculty members in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures; Dave Morrissey, assistant vice president for University Relations; Lou Nanni, vice president for University Relations; and Mark Roche, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

The new Jordan Science Hall should open in a month. It has been confirmed that is has a planetarium at the north end. It is a windowless octagon-shaped annex off of the main building. A greenhouse is at the south end. Other campus construction is in the form of renovations. Farley Hall looks as if it is receiving all new shingles. (And that ain't an easy chore since campus shingles are not flimsy rubber.) And all new windows throughout the entire dorm. Apparently insulation is the new "in" things. The center of LaFortune is also being worked over. It is not obvious yet if a new eatery is going in or if the seating is being revised.

Campus Watch by the Gipper from Scholastic:

Now, Gippettes, I usually leave the sports stories to the professionals, but this one was just too rich to discard. Our story picks up with the typical wind-down to a testosterone-filled weekend - two guys, plenty of liquor and no female accompaniment (way to go gentlemen, you have truly redefined the word "suave"). Our tipster tells us that as they began the stumble-filled trek back to the dorms, they found a lovely set of escorts to accompany them. Upon sighting the baseball practice fields, our featured intoxicants got to thinking, "Let's play some ball!" The women who joined our Don Juans posed a challenge to spice up the situation: If the strapping young lads could hit their pitches, the ladies would remove articles of clothing, but if the hunks took a hack and missed, they would have to strip down. No bunting (as if they could even hold the bat straight - phshaw). Well, the girls must have been named Clemens and Koufax because our Ty Cobbs were completely in the buff before the pitchers even removed their warm-up gear. As nasty as the girls' pitches were, their camera shots were even better, capturing the victory with plenty of photographic evidence. Unfortunately for our not-so-clutch hitters, the girls came out on top, and the gentlemen were stuck grasping wood.

Hall Notes:

Thievery on campus was the topic of last week's Hall Notes. Such debauchery is not uncommon amongst Vermin. Let me tell you what I know about "Cablevision"...

Now this story is very, very secondhand. It seems that during my freshman year ('93-'94) a quad of fellow frosh took it upon themselves to make their room cable-ful. These resourceful lads were in a corner room directly below the third floor assistant rector. Well, all the rectors have cable. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. The young gents went outside their room's window and scoured the side of the building for the magic coaxial. They found it. They spliced it. And they split it right into their room. The assistant rector was none the wiser. Not only did they have cable for a good portion of the year, but they also managed to keep it quiet. Strange. "Vermin" and "quiet" go together like "USC" and "class."


Charlie has his 8th verbal commitment. Andrew Nuss attends Stone Bridge High School and will suit up for most likely our offensive line. The 6'5", 283 lb. Ashburn, Virginia product plays offensive and defensive line but is expected to be an offensive guard or tackle. Nuss should be a hard working, disciplined, smart football player. He is the military brat of an Air Force father. Andrew had offers from West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Purdue and boston college.

The crew team captured its third straight Big East crown. The ladies swept all four varisty races. A clean sweep. The conference victory provided a berth in the NCAAs. The team was one of twelve in the NCAAs. It was the first trip to the tourney for the Irish. Three teams were entered: #10 varsity eight, the second varsity eight, and the varsity four. The women came in 9th overall. The varsity eight placed 7th. The second varsity eight was 12th and the varsity four finished 11th. Amanda Polk was named 1st Team All American this year after being on the 2nd Team last year.

The 4th Notre Dame Fantasy Camp was recently held on campus. The five day camp had fifty-nine entrants and cost $4,990 per person. The ages ranged from 21 to 72. Thirty-two were returning campers. The participants were broken into their years: freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. So the four-time campers were graduating after this year's event. The squad covered twenty-three states and England. Many gridiron Domers returned to assist, including Dave Casper, Mirko Jurkovic and Reggie Brooks. The camp concluded with a flag football game in the Stadium.

July 16, 2006

Campus News:

Pick up the phone! Answer it! The ticket office is actually calling out to alums to offer football tickets. A few hundred Domers have received calls offering them single tickets to home games if they purchase right away via credit card. Due to the configuration of the Stadium, for every home game there are 100 to 200 single seats available in rows with odd numbers. The alums were randomly selected by a computer. But these were specific alums. They were ones who put in for the lottery but had not won any tickets at all. The alums are being offered two single tickets to available games. This is the first time the ticket office has taken to the phones. Usually single remaining tickets go on sale to the general public in August. And if any tickets are remaining after the calls, that is exactly what will happen. Some being called are suspicious of a scam and are reluctant to give out their credit card number. those who question the validity of the calls are encouraged to call back the ticket office to verify it.

Remember the story about the University trying to boot The Copy Shop from LaFortune? The Shop is still fighting eviction and is appealing a court ruling that determined the University may legally evict the business. The Shop owner maintains the lease is perpetual, as it has been since '89. The appeal was filed with the Indiana Court of Appeals. In April a judge ruled the lease was not perpetual and said the Shop had to be out by June 30. Then in early June, the judge ruled the eviction would be delayed if the business posted a $20,000 appeal bond. The owner obtained a letter of credit in that amount. The Copy Shop is still in LaFortune. Last year the University signed a deal with FedEx Kinko's and refused to let the Shop post business advertisements on campus.

Campus Watch by the Gipper from Scholastic:

Part 2 of last week's entry...

At this point, the newly awakened erudite was was curious enough to investigate further. Apparently the neighbor and his roommate were playing a game of beer pong after a late-night extravaganza. With coordination at an all-time low, our sauced shooter went for yet another off-target toss, when his roommate whipped out a fire extinguisher from behind his back a la Bugs Bunny. With a fling and a flutter, the once loveable roommate left his buddy in an ultimate freeze. Unflappable, the roommate fought away the chemical fog and lined up for a second go, emptying the cannister in a chilling display. As our tipster put it, the neighbor responded by "spinning around, screaming, pulling out his hair, and vomiting everywhere." Trying to escape the frosty apartment, the roommate dove out a sliding door, let loose his dinner on a set of bushes, and passed out face-down in the branches. Simply beautiful.

Hall Notes:

The conclusion of "The Sign Graveyard," as told by Dean Busack '97....

Back to the cold and snowy night. After dinner at SDH, three of us (my accomplice "Dan", our friend, we'll call him "Bob", and "myself") went to the Rock to lift. We were HUGE back in the day. After we finished, "Bob," who was a true Boy Scout back then (not so much now), went on back to the dorm because he wanted "no part of such blatantly illegal activity." "Dan" and I proceeded to the library to spend some constructive hours studying before our plunder.

At the midnight hour, we left the 'brare and made our way to the back of the security building...the "sign graveyard." Armed with a camcorder to capture the theft (and perhaps the arrest and most of the trial), we approached the unsuspecting signs. Unfortunately there arose such a clatter from the D-6 parking lot. Several drunken girls were returning from a visit most likely to Club 23, as this was a Thursday night. Their ruckus was enough to make us delay our plan for a few minutes, suspecting that they may draw the attention of someone inside the security building. We quietly lay in wait behind a tree like lions on a hunt about to pounce on their prey.

When the stillness returned to the night, the video began recording, we returned to the "sign graveyard" and we not so quietly plucked two signs from the pile. All the video shows at this point is some dark indiscernible movements, some stumbling sounds, some hushed breathing, and finally... under the glow of the golden dome, a shadowy figure galloping across the new fallen snow at full stride, with none other than a pristine stop sign in his hand. The cameraman was similarly carrying a dual "ND Parking" sign. Nothing and no one could stop us now!

We regrouped on the lake side of Carroll, retrieved some wrenches from our room, and dismantled the signs, disposing of their 2x4 bases in the lake.

The perfect, victimless crime. (except for the poor sap who had to explain to his boss how he lost a stop sign and two "ND Parking" signs)

Those signs hung proudly on the walls of our respective rooms for the next three and a half years. The sign graveyard eventually disappeared. Apparently, others had the same idea as us, and you know, stop signs are pretty expensive. But we had our prizes, and the video to prove it. Thankfully the video has only served as entertainment and not incriminating evidence.

So why did we steal the signs? Because we could, and we like to tell the story. Why did we capture it on film? Because we were idiots.


We finished the season 6th in the Directors' Cup. It is by far our best finish. We were 11th three times. Kevin White was named the Central Region Athletic Director of the Year. The various teams produced 44 All-Americans, 14 Academic All-Americans, and 5 combined All-Americans and Academic All-Americans. Twenty-four teams made the post season. All twenty-six teams had 3.0 or better GPAs in the fall and spring. Thirteen Big East Championships were won. Thirteen teams finished in the top 15. We were the only midwest or east school in the Directors' Cup top ten. Stanford, Cal, and North Carolina were the next most northernly schools. Finally, White said we had the best year we've ever had financially. He believes it was the best year financially of any school EVER. "I'm just not in a position to disclose to you the kind of revenue we've enjoyed this year, but it's Herculean... I can't believe the kind of financial year we've had," said White. And yet ticket prices will continue to rise.

Baseball coach Paul Mainieri has left to coach at LSU. In 12 seasons we were 533-213-3 under Mainieri. The team recorded 40+ wins in 11 of the 12 seasons. His assistants will accompany him. Paul has four children. Two are currently at ND and will continue as Domers. The youngest is off to Louisiana. Mainieri played at LSU in 1976 and has close ties to the state so the move is not a complete surprise.

Quarterback David Wolke has decided to transfer. The writing was on the wall after Charlie said he might want to move to tailback. Wolke is the 11th player to leave since Weis took over. He is the 8th of Willingham's last class to leave the team.

July 9, 2006

Campus News:

This past spring semester Scholastic did a piece on a Notre Dame author. Kathy Zhu had her novel, "Jade Butterflies," published in 2005. The kicker is she was only a freshman at the time. The Chicago suburbs are home to this English major. She just completed her sophomore year and lives in Farley Hall. "Jade" is a young-adult novel set in imperial China. The plot focuses on a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to receive an education at an elite academy. While at school she discovers a secret that threatens to destroy China. She risks everything to prevent the catastrophe.

Zhu had been writing since she was very young. She began the novel the summer before her freshman year at ND. Kathy decided to submit her text for publication. Prominent companies, though, do not publish new authors. Instead she sent five chapters and a synopsis of the rest of the book to PublishAmerica, a publisher specializing in works by new authors. PublishAmerica received the package just before she began her freshman year and accepted her manuscript on the condition that she finish the entire novel by January 1 of the following year. Zhu sacrificed a social life to complete the book. She worked on one or two pages every day.

Zhu lived in China for six years. The goal of the novel was to introduce Chinese culture to young Americans. Kathy wants to continue writing and is thinking about attending law school. Writing as a career is difficult. Writing as a hobby is overachieving. Typical Domer.

Campus Watch by the Gipper from Scholastic:

Our first tip comes from that bastion of upstanding recreational behavior, Turtle Creek. Our unsuspecting observer was awakened by a strange tapping at his window one fine eve. Our newfound friend stumbled from his bed to find his neighbor, a chipper (read: wasted) young lad, climbing through his window, gleaming with pride from his night's accomplishment. Our groggy, slightly aggravated reporter stumbled from his slumberhole, followed the tanked trespasser out to the front lawn, where he found - to the shock and repulsion of all those way-too- conservative religious and uptight geezers who still read this feature just to get angry at liberal media and gossipy apparitions (but I digress) - the most intoxicated person in the history of college. To resume our story, our lush had passed out in vomit-laden shrubbery, with twigs up his nose - up his freaking nose!

Part 2 next week

Hall Notes:

Technically, a person really cannot be labeled a "thief" until they are caught in the act. So until then we will just call them "Vermin." The following tale is told by "Vermin" Dean Busack '97...

The Sign Graveyard

What is the allure of having a traffic sign hanging on the wall of your dorm room? Is it the sense of triumph of getting one over on "the Man"? Is it a nice addition to the decor of the room? Or is it the chance to get to tell a good story? Because as we know, when someone walks into your room and sees a perfectly good stop sign on the wall, their first question is, "How did you get that?!?!"

Well, here is the answer.

It was a cold and snowy night in January 1994, our freshman year. The walls of 211 Carroll were in need of some sprucing up. Not that they weren't adorned with pictures of cars, girls, beer paraphernalia, and gargoyles (that's another story), but they needed something more--a street sign would do nicely. Ever since I noticed all the temporary stop signs placed around campus during my sister's 1992 graduation, I had thought "Boy, that would be a great way to get a hold of a stop sign without putting many lives in danger." You see, if one removes a stop sign from a permanent location, serious injury could result. I didn't want that. What I did want was a victimless stop sign theft.

On our many trips back and forth to campus from Carroll, we always walked past the back side of the security building. In a little nook of the building, we noticed that there were various temporary traffic signs piled up--the type with bases made out of 2x4's. At last, my dream of a victimless stop sign theft could become a reality. This area became known as the "sign graveyard," because we thought this was where NDSP put old signs when they were no longer needed. (It was probably more aptly named the "sign storage area" because the signs were perfectly good and usable, but "sign graveyard" sounds better.)

So like any good thief, my accomplice (we'll call him "Dan") and I cased the joint for several days, observing patterns of behavior, looking for any surveillance devices, defeating any security measures, until finally, we were ready to make our move...

Another Part 2 next week.


After the second set of spring sports, we were fifth in the Directors' Cup for athletic excellence. We are poised for our first ever top ten finish.

The women's lacrosse team had their best season ever. The ladies had this season after having their WORST ever season last year (3-12). The women finished the regular season with a program best 13-3 record. They were one of sixteen teams in the NCAA tournament. The #7 Irish beat #10 Cornell 16-8 in the first round. Next up was #3 Georgetown, a team we had never beaten (0-7). The Hoyas were bounced 12-9. The ladies made their first ever Final Four. Dartmouth proved too tough. The women fell 14-8 and finished the year 15-4. In recognition for the year, Tracy Coyne was named Coach of the Year. Senior Crysti Foote was selected a 1st Team All American and the Attack Player of the Year by Inside Lacrosse Magazine. Foote was also one of five up for the Tewaaraton Trophy (MVP).

This week everyone who put in for football tickets should find out what games they won. There were a record number of applications, up 37 percent from last year. Penn State became the most requested game ever with 66,670 requests (for about 30,000 alum seats). Michigan is the second most requested ever. USC was the most requested road game ever. Alums put in for 33,251 tickets to USC (which allows us 15,000). The money returned to alums who did not win tickets was off the charts. Last year $5.2 million was returned. This year $11.7 million left the University in the form of refund checks (but not the interest it earned over the past two months).

July 2, 2006

Campus News:

The train was almost a-comin' to campus. A few weeks ago the University was in the middle of a heated city issue. A private company was looking to buy the private rail line that runs through the city and terminates on campus. The train hadn't operated in around 20 years. The company planned to deliver coal and even people from Chicago on football weekends. The University claims the business dealings were extremely tentative. The City of South Bend was up in arms over the possible rail opening. The opening would cross almost 20 streets and would require the closing of some streets while costing the city of $1 million, suppposedly. The City Council was irate that they had not been informed of the deal before it was almost done. The mayor immediately sent a letter to the University. It seemed obvious that if the University did not make a deal with the private company, the rail would not re-open. After about a week of boisterous objections, the University's Executive Vice President released a statement saying the University would not do business with the company hoping to buy the rail line. The University would continue to truck in its coal. The powers that be felt it was wise to sacrifice saving a few bucks in favor of not being loathed by many in the community. How very prudent.

Campus Watch by Me:

The following is from a publication (I can't remember which one) that came out in April during spring football practice...

A Salute to the Irish

A handful of military personnel were Weis' guests at practice Wednesday. The National Guardsmen, who were on active duty in Iraq for 14 months until December, addressed the team before the players broke into position drills.

"In Iraq, you can only watch Notre Dame football on the Armed Forces Network," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jody Arrington, who is now stationed in Lansing, Mich. "Usually they're on at 2 in the morning, and it'll be the day after the game. But it's a great diversion, and we just wanted to say, 'Thanks.'

"Maybe the players don't realize how much of an impact they have on a lot of people - older people in nursing homes, people all around the world. They helped to inspire them. I know they've inspired us. We just wanted them to know that."

Hall Notes:

The following is a photo from the 1994 Yearbook. Carroll received a shoutout on page 79. The two gentlemen photographed were both freshmen. Dave Lillis '97 has the chainsaw while Bob Fincutter '97 is dressed as the world's scariest mime.


Jeff Samardzija has signed with the Cubs. He signed a 5-year contract worth as much as $7.25 million. He will get the bulk of the contract if he gives up football to solely focus on baseball. This was actually Jeff's second contract. Major League Baseball rejected the first contract. Jeff is now with the Class A Boise Hawks.

What about the rest of the baseball team? Early in the season Coach Paul Mainieri recorded his 500th victory at Notre Dame. The team started the year with a so-so 10-9 record. Then the boys rattled off a school record 23 game winning streak. The lads were 33-9 and had come from behind in 15 of the 23 games. The team rose to as high as #8 in one poll. The squad struggled near the end but went on to win their 5th consecutive Big East Championship. The team was 45-15-1 and automatically made the NCAA tournament. We went to Kentucky as a #3 seed in the Regional. We promptly lost to the College of Charleston and Kentucky. It was our first two-and-out in 12 years of the Mainieri era.

Despite the early exit, Craig Cooper had a phenomenal year. The firstbaseman tied a school record with a 21 game hitting streak. He also set the Big East record for career batting with a mark of .444. And he won an unprecedented third league batting title.

The men's lacrosse team finished the season 10-4 and were 1 of 16 in the NCAAs. The fellows went up against #1 Virginia and lost 14-10. Two seniors were drafted by Major League Lacrosse. Defenseman D.J. Driscoll went to the L.A. Riptide with the 1st pick of the second round. Attackman Pat Walsh was selected in the 4th round by the Long Island Lizards.

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