Should Notre Dame allow a pro-choice football coach?

The question is now apparently before us after Notre Dame's new football coach, Brian Kelly, was hired recently amid reports he might be "pro-choice." Yes, that's right a "pro-choice" football coach at Notre Dame.

Actually, I've been thinking about an aspect of this question for some years now. It started some time back when I began to wonder if Notre Dame's starting lineup, so visible on NBC, was entirely Catholic. I've suspected that some running backs might not know the Creed, but never pressed the issue. Notre Dame, I figured, would only recruit Catholics, and most likely, they'd already be leaning toward a pro-life take in the national abortion political debate.

It's a shame that Notre Dame can't simply recruit the best football players in the land, regardless of religion and politics. If they could, the team record might break out of its recent mediocre doldrum, they'd please the alum a bit more, and they would have a better chance of keeping their coaches more than a few years.

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

For the record, I, for one, think Notre Dame should only hire only pro-life Catholic coaches, but this policy should not reach the president's desk until it's absolutely clear that the Catholic player policy is being enforced, beginning with the starting lineup. The morale lift would be substantial to all Notre Dame supporters.

Notre Dame should be an example like no other. Pro-life Catholic professors should be a requirement, if the policy is not already being enforced. And the same should apply to staff, -- including the stadium football announcer (very influential), ticket takers, and parking lot attendants (first impressions matter).

So I say, "Go Irish!"

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.