While part of me stands in strong solidarity with those who are sickened by the excessed of collegiate athletics, I also cannot deny that a winning football team also reaps rewards for the libraries and academic programs of the schools involved. Whatever skepticism I may still have about head coach Brian Kelly, his arrival gift to university libraries and research made me slightly more receptive to his style. And as much as getting to the National Championship game would make any alum's heart sing, the thought of the libraries receiving their share of the $6.2 million BCS payout, win or lose at USC, is enough on its own to make this librarian happy.
Notre Dame's library has also been fatefully synonymous with the football program since the completion of the Word of Life mural on the facade of the current library building in 1964, popularly known as "Touchdown Jesus," which can be seen peeking out from behind the North end of the football stadium.
Now I have a big confession to make:
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a sentimental lover of Touchdown Jesus.