The Shaky Future of College Athletics

By Jason Kelly '95

Litigation “stacked up like planes at LaGuardia” threatens to change the relationship between athlete and university that has always defined college sports, but Jack Swarbrick ’76 sounded pretty serene about the whole thing.

Read More

Milk River

By Jason Kelly '95

One day, while surveying a patch of his family’s ranch along the Milk River, David Aageson felt something. Something holy. Like he was on sacred ground.

Read More

What I'm Reading: The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry

By Jason Kelly '95

Before I finished it, I was indiscriminately recommending The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry’s entrancing 2008 novel that alternates between a 100-year-old woman’s clandestine reminiscence, hidden beneath the floorboards of her asylum bedroom, and the journal of her facility’s chief psychiatrist.

Read More

A Home-Away for the University's Main Game

By Jason Kelly '95

“Connemara,” Oscar Wilde said, “is a savage beauty.” A wild mountainous protrusion into the Atlantic along the west coast of Ireland, where sheep huddle behind stone walls to escape blowing rain even in summer, the landscape still fits his description.

Read More

Out of the Office: Universal questions

By Jason Kelly '95

Last year Guy Consolmagno, S.J., received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society for outstanding communication of planetary science to the general public. A gray-bearded, amiable presence in front of about 150 people last week at Notre Dame, he hopped easily across cobblestones of conversation: meteorite hunting in Antarctica, multiverses, the warming planet’s rising seas, insights from science fiction, and the confusion of communication between science and religion.

Read More

Screening the Easter Rising

By Jason Kelly '95

An 80-minute feature version of 1916: The Irish Rebellion will be screened in theaters and at global events, beginning with the March 16 world premiere in Dublin hosted by the Irish government. The U.S. premiere will be March 21 at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, with screenings to follow in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Various PBS

Read More

The Money Games

By Jason Kelly '95

Professional sports have become vast global industries, billion-dollar enterprises and powerful cultural forces. Where does this leave their fans?

Read More

A technological knockout for head injuries?

By Jason Kelly '95

Obvious concussions are easy to identify. You don’t have to be a doctor to recognize the symptoms: confusion, memory loss, nausea, balance problems. It’s like watching one of those viral videos of someone staggering through a field sobriety test. You just know. The problem is that athletes who suffer head injuries don’t always show such signs.

Read More

Far afield: A Prescription for Lance Armstrong

By Jason Kelly '95

Lance Armstrong should be sorry, particularly to the people he slandered to protect his good name and to the millions of credulous true believers who took him at his defiant word. As for the doping, in and of itself? I’m one of the few people on earth who doesn’t think Armstrong needs to apologize for that.

Read More

Far afield: Hei5man

By Jason Kelly '95

Manti Te’o is the main character in a bedtime story that helps everyone involved with college football sleep at night. He’s a great player, he seems like one of the all-time good guys and he endured traumatic personal losses this season with inspiring grace. But that doesn’t make him a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Read More

A coaching legend’s no-how

By Jason Kelly '95

Jason Kelly

John Gagliardi left his office door open while he studied game film, an unheard of security breach compared to the paranoid lockdown of most college football programs. It’s true that Gagliardi, the head coach at Division III Saint John’s University for 60 years until his retirement on Monday, operated outside the scope of the sport’s most intense surveillance. Still.

Read More

A Road Runner rerun at last?

By Jason Kelly '95

After one of the more recent indignities heaped on the Notre Dame football team — Michigan State’s heart attack inducing fake field goal, I think — a faculty member vented on Facebook: “OK, joke’s over. Could whoever turned us into the Wile E. Coyote of college football these past years, please turn us back into the Road Runner?”

Read More

Far afield: What do we expect?

By Jason Kelly '95

Jason Kelly

Urban Meyer violated one of the terms of his Ohio State coaching contract on the first day the football team gathered this summer. Not his contract with the university, the six-year deal worth $26-plus million. Meyer breached the agreement he made with his family.

Read More

Far afield: JoePa’s hollow pedestal

By Jason Kelly '95

Jason Kelly

It’s a familiar pattern repeated in similar circumstances far beyond Penn State, far beyond sports. Police, soldiers, priests, politicians—human beings—we all align ourselves with institutions that come to define us. To acknowledge flaws in them feels like a betrayal worse than the original misconduct.

Read More

Far afield: Elmer’s glue

By Jason Kelly '95

When the Four Horsemen, the seven mules and Knute Rockne’s other farm animals finished grazing, only Elmer Layden hung around the Notre Dame dining hall to bus tables. “He wasn’t asked to help, and he didn’t expect thanks,” wrote Red Smith, who knew because he was the student waiter on duty. “He just was, and is, that kind of gentleman.”

Read More

Far afield: Top IX moments in ND history

By Jason Kelly '95

For years Notre Dame women’s basketball players operated in relative obscurity, but they could always play. And once, on the old courts outside Stepan Center, a couple of them offered an impromptu clinic to a skeptical local audience. Skylar Diggins, and all she represents, was not yet a glint in anybody’s eye, but Karen Robinson ’91 and Coquese Washington ’92, ’97J.D. were her equivalent at the time.

Read More

Far afield: Woolridge, remembered

By Jason Kelly '95

When Orlando Woolridge died last month, the collected details of his life and personality illustrated just how little I knew about the man who once inspired my rapt attention — how little we all know about the athletes who pass through our consciousness, then go on with their lives while we size up their replacements.

Read More

Far afield: Retiring types

By Jason Kelly '95

Wrigley Field’s organist played “My Way” while Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood walked off the mound for the last time. Wood probably came as close as any professional athlete could to retiring on his own terms, which says a lot about the reluctant endings of most careers.

Read More

The Sweet Sixteen Solution

By Jason Kelly '95

Every year the Bowl Championship Series recycles one or two of the controversies that illustrate its inherent contradictions. But there is a simple solution to the BCS nonsense.

Read More

The Damage Done

By Jason Kelly '95

It may have seemed that time heals the brain after severe blows to the head, but the evidence shows a cumulative effect may cause long-term suffering.

Read More

Far Afield: Taunt is cheap

By Jason Kelly '95

How do you know when the vapors have overcome college football? When an official pulls out a yellow handkerchief, not to fan himself over the affront to his sensibilities, but to call a taunting penalty on . . . Navy.

Read More

Far Afield: My wild ND guesses

By Jason Kelly '95

Apparently some “scientist” has “proven” that predictions, no matter how informed the prognosticators, are no better than wild guesses. So I guess that makes me the equivalent of an expert. Remember that as you read my wild guesses about how the 2011 Notre Dame football season will unfold.

Read More

Far afield: Excuses, excuses

By Jason Kelly '95

It probably won’t become the sports equivalent of “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” but as excuses go, the North Korean coach’s explanation for his team’s World Cup loss to the United States has a certain electromagnetic appeal. The team was struck by lightning.

Read More

Far Afield: Ambiva-Lance

By Jason Kelly '95

Winning the Tour de France seven times, like hitting 70 home runs, seems almost impossible. Without artificial performance enhancement, a cancer survivor rolling down the Champs Elysees year after triumphant year at an advancing age in a sport known for rampant doping defies not just belief but biology.

Read More

Far Afield: Ink-stained wretches

By Jason Kelly '95

Word of Ohio State football players receiving “preferential treatment” from the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor reached NCAA headquarters, where preserving the game’s honor supersedes all other priorities.

Read More