Last night Notre Dame received the following statement from head football coach George O’Leary:
p. “Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni and fans. The integrity and credibility of Notre Dame is impeccable and with that in mind, I will resign my position as head football coach effective December 13, 2001.”
p. Statement of Kevin White, director of athletics, University of Notre Dame:
p. “I have accepted the resignation of George O’Leary as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. George has acknowledged inaccuracies in his biographical materials, including his academic background. I understand that these inaccuracies represent a very human failing; nonetheless, they constitute a breach of trust that makes it impossible for us to go forward with our relationship.”
“I intend to restart our search for a new head football coach immediately.”
p. A further statement from George O’Leary:
p. “For more than thirty years I have been blessed to be a football coach. That’s all I have ever wanted to do. The victories, post-season bowls, honors, and success of my players on and off the field speak for themselves. One constant throughout my career has been my coaching philosophy of demanding personal accountability for one’s actions.
p. Today, I regret to report that last night I tendered my resignation as head football coach of the University of Notre Dame. My resignation has been accepted. This action has been taken by me for the following reasons.
p. Many years ago, as a young married father, I sought to pursue my dream as a football coach. In seeking employment, I prepared a resume that contained inaccuracies regarding my completion of course work for a master’s degree and also my level of participation in football at my alma mater. These misstatements were never stricken from my resume or biographical sketch in later years.
p. During my coaching career, I believe I have been hired because of the success of my players on the field and the evaluations of my peers. However, these misstatements have resurfaced and become a distraction and embarrassment to the University of Notre Dame, an institution I dearly love. I regret that I did not call these facts to the attention of the University during their search. It now seems, therefore, that in keeping with my philosophy of personal accountability for these errors, I resign my position and deeply apologize for any disappointment I have caused the University, my family and many friends.
p. I pray that my experiences will simply be yet another coaching lesson to the youth of this country that we are all accountable for our actions and there can be no double standard. I appreciate the courtesy and consideration extended to me by the University of Notre Dame.”