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Notre Dame Football Scheduling: Are They Making Any Sense?

Jeff KalafaAnalyst IIIJune 30, 2009

SOUTH BEND,IN - SEPTEMBER 13:  Bandmembers of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on September 13, 2008 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In April of 2008, ESPN released an article announcing the proposed six game home and home series between Notre Dame and Rutgers was called off.

In the article dated Apr. 25, '08, ESPN wrote, "Rutgers entered into discussions about a long-term series with Notre Dame, but at the end of the day both schools could not agree with the site of the games."

Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahy said, "We feel Rutgers home games should be played on campus at Rutgers Stadium."

The ESPN article continued, "according to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Irish wanted Rutgers' three home games in the series to be played at the new Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands."

Scott Soshnick, in a commentary carried by Bloomberg News Apr. 29, '08 wrote, "according to athletic director Kevin White, Notre Dame's motive for playing the Scarlet Knights was to give the Notre Dame fans in the New York area access to the club."  Soshnick wrote that White told the South Bend Tribune, "We have zillions of fans out east."

The Notre Dame/Rutgers series was to have begun in 2010.  The Bloomberg News commentator continued, "Notre Dame would have played at surprise, surprise Notre Dame Stadium.  Rutgers was asked to play at the 82,500 seat Meadowlands.

Soshnick concluded by reminding us that "Notre Dame balked and in the end there won't be a series for those zillions of fans that White was concerned about."

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Fast Forward to July 15, 2008; Kevin White has left Notre Dame to take over the same position at Duke and Jack Swarbrick assumes the athletic director's position at Notre Dame.

Fast Forward to May 20,2009;  In a New York Times article by Pete Thamel Jack Swarbrick says "the Yankees were open to having college football at the new Yankee Stadium and we would like the Irish to be the first team to play there."

Swarbrick goes on to mention the "historical significance of playing Army" and said " Notre Dame's 35-14 win against Army at West Point in 1913 is considered the most important in the program's history."

In Thamel's article Swarbrick also said "We'd love to have the 100th anniversary of that game played at Yankee Stadium but the Yankees may want football before 2013 and we want to be part of the debut."

Last year, Notre Dame didn't want finalize plans for the Rutgers Stadium because Rutgers Stadium was too small (Rutgers Stadium will have 55,000 seats at the beginning of the 2009 football season) but they want to play at Yankee Stadium.

The new Yankee Stadium holds 51,000 and those seats are configured for baseball.

Swarbrick talks about the tradition of the 1913 game, played at West Point, but wants to hold the 100th anniversary in Yankee Stadium.  Army's Michie stadium is probably one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country and it has 40,000 seats—all football seating.

So Notre Dame has made it clear that they don't want to play in Rutgers Stadium and has offended the Scarlet Knights and now they are telling the people at West Point that their stadium, with all it's tradition, isn't suitable either.

What's that, Notre Dame has a new athletic director.  He wasn't around when the Notre Dame/Rutgers series was proposed.  Has he proposed another series with Rutgers where three games would be played at Notre Dame Stadium and three at Rutgers Stadium?  I don't think so!

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