At Notre Dame, a Parents’ Day Game Might Require a Red Carpet

The singer Jon Bon Jovi and athletes like Torii Hunter and David Robinson, among other celebrities, have sons on the Fighting Irish football team.

Comments: 44

  1. Those kids have the right perspective. Notre Dame is a special place with strong values and a great academic reputation. And a beautiful campus with some inspiring places. Having gone there, I'm proud to hear what these players have to say. It's not just about football & winning, although those are important, it's essentially about being part of something greater than yourself. And I don't care what the haters say, they've never had the privilege to feel it.

  2. I don't know. It really isn't about the "haters". Notre Dame as an academic institution is right up there. But South Bend, Indiana?? Really?? Give me any school on the west or south coast.

  3. I recently watched a disturbing episode of Frontline, I think, that discussed current research showing how commonly brain damage is shown in autopsies of former football players. I can't imagine how acting as a glorified tackling dummy for other players, with no chance of actually playing in a game, could possibly be worth more than preserving a well-functioning brain.

  4. most concussions results from repeated blows to the helmet. I am pretty sure they don't go to that extreme when hitting the practice squad.

  5. No wonder ND is a shell of its former self. Forget about these talentless celebritiy progeny, they need to handing out hundred dollar handshakes to real prospects.

  6. I'm guessing you are not a Notre Dame fan because Corey Robinson IS the real deal for sure. Turn on the ND/Navy game tomorrow and check him out ... you will be stunned at his abundant talent!


  7. May I remind you that ND actually played for the National Championship last year?

  8. You should watch the games. Robinson and Hunter, Jr. are beasts, and Collinsworth is decent. Bongiovi is, well, a walk-on.

  9. Enjoyed this story. I really admire David Robinson. He was the #1 pick in the NBA draft but had to delay playing to fulfill a Naval service commitment post graduation (he graduated from the Naval Academy). Still ended up being one of the NBA's greats - two-time champion, MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

    I have no idea if his Notre Dame son has his talent, but he certainly has a model to follow for having his head screwed on straight.

  10. BTW, The Admiral was given the opportunity to forego his obligation to the Navy(post graduation) due to the fact that he grew too tall to be qualified to work on naval ships, and for his extraordinary accomplishments on the basketball court. His overall deportment and basketball skills were enough of a recruitment tool for the Navy to excuse him of the normal obligation of service. He chose to take a shore side assignment and defer his entry to the NBA for a time to show his gratitude for the education. Mr. Robinson and his ilk, like the great Roger Staubach, are to be lauded for their exemplary selflessness.

  11. Based on the reported quotes from Jesse Bongiovi, the kid has been raised well and displays integrity and humility; character traits that will serve him well long after football at Notre Dame.

  12. Sorry, David Robinson's son "gets" the value of an education. His father played basketball at Navy, and was academically talented, too. (I can't believe he allowed his son to play at ND!)

  13. A good, the best in fact, dad doesn't "allow" his son or daughter to go to a school. They need to make their own choices by the time they're old enough for that decision. If my son wanted to go to ND or Navy, I'd be fine with that, but I've been telling him for a while he might prefer Duke or Virginia where they use new balls for batting practice and the young woman have long legs and brains, and there are a lot of 'em. (PS: the only thing I've told him he can't do is play football)

  14. You don't get it. ND plays Navy every year not to beat up on them, but to honor them. Navy saved ND during WWII, and ND never forgets - this is a loyalty lesson for the whole school. I am sure that Robinson Sr. would hold ND no lower than 2d choice of all colleges - and possibly 1st..

  15. After the Frontline piece on NFL concussions and all the other media articles covering this ugly underbelly of the sport, these guys would actually let their kids play college football?

    For what? The thrill of it? That's like saying the concussions they sustain in practice, the damage from which is apparently permanent, is worth the risk.

    That makes no sense.

    It's fine to fall in love with a campus. But how about going there to do something like studying. I know it's a difficult concept for many to understand, but that would be the sensible thing to do.

  16. Perchance you've heard of the name Rudy?

  17. If it were only that simple!

  18. Living is risky. I played a lot of football and had a couple of injuries, never hospitalized. My son never did, but was hospitalized for days after falling off a skateboard (no tricks). There is a lot of growth and learning in team sports and a position for all kinds of different skills in football. Among other things you have to learn to truly rely on, and to support others. Accidents happen, don't drive. A few become alcoholics, don't drink. Live in a padded world - not me.

  19. How did you miss #65, Conor Hanratty, the 6'4", 300lb offensive guard whose father, Terry, twice an All American as quarterback at Notre Dame, led them to the 1966 National Chambionship? He also earned two Super Bowl rings as Bradhaw's back up on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  20. Can you imagine being described by your height and weight? It's pretty dismal a reference for a human being.

  21. Is there room on the team for a poor kid from Iowa whose grandmother was raised on ND Football? Growing up, Saturday, was the only day we were allowed to eat in the living room --- chili, for ND Football.

  22. Why no mention in the article of the schools' main reason for courting/recruiting kids from WEALTHY families? It's the MONEY motivation. No, it's not the kids' "good values" or "fine character"....Rather, you find celebrity children at name universities because the schools predict that their rich parents (and their rich kids, eventually) will donate regularly and handsomely to the school.

  23. Depressing. Is even college sports now going to be dominated by rich, overly privileged kids? I sure hope not.

  24. Red carpet? Please. They're just regular parents, just like anyone else and should behave accordingly when they go to their kid's games.

  25. In response to this:

    "It's fine to fall in love with a campus. But how about going there to do something like studying. I know it's a difficult concept for many to understand, but that would be the sensible thing to do."

    All of these Notre Dame football players understand the value of a good education and are at Notre Dame to earn one. Notre Dame is one of a few institutions with a successful football team that actively practices the concept of the "student-athlete." This means that all athletes at Notre Dame, football players included, are students FIRST, and athletes second. All of these guys, whether they go on to play football professionally or not, will walk out of Notre Dame with an excellent education which will open many doors for them for the rest of their lives.

    The thing with playing football is ... this often opens an education door for these kids that might not otherwise happen. Football gets them there, which financially they might not otherwise be able to afford. Very few of them will actually play in the NFL so their Notre Dame education will carry them on to future greatness.

    I am very proud of Our Lady's University and how she is molding and shaping these young men (and women) to head out into the world to do great things!


  26. Kudos to Bon Jovi's kid for having a great attitude and all that, but if he loves football so much, why didn't he go to a great division III school like Williams or Amherst and play the game he loves rather than being a tackling dummy at Notre Dame? I have always felt that a kid would rather play on a 0-10 team than sit on the bench for a 10-0 team. I'm all for team work and all that, but it's all about the playing, isn't it?

  27. It isn't all about the glory. Being part of something matters, and it is more important to this kid to help the starters be good than to be a starter in somebody else's program. Applaud the unsung that make programs work - don't criticize him for failing to seek his own glory.

  28. What a healthy attitude to sport and life. I am part of something bigger...........
    That would make a good slogan for any young celeb.

  29. Nice to see the celeb gossip leak over into the sports pages. Red Smith and Dave Anderson are spinning.

  30. Seems like a good kid. But he is doing little more than playing dress-up.

  31. You've clearly never participated in an athletic practice.

  32. Yes. ND may be best known for football but is most important for building character and leadership. The student body will demonstrate today as they honor their rivals, Navy, for service to their country.

  33. They get paid to work for the Navy, just like other working Americans get paid to do a job, many a lot harder and more dangerous than the Navy.

  34. Bon Jovi's kid renews my faith in this new generation of kids. He gets it! Apparently, against all odds, he got lucky enough to be born to good parents and grandparents that supported him, gave him the proper values, and instilled an old fashioned work ethic in him. I commend both the young Bongiovi and his family. The kid could have just done as most children of wealthy parents and just been a sorry butt and milked the gravy train all his life. Instead he took the difficult path. Unless you have a personal knowledge of how college football works, as I do due to an older brother who played college ball and was recruited by Dallas for the NFL, you just have no idea of what kind of exceptional individual it takes to be a walk on for a upper tier college football team. Hell, even a lower tier college football team, and to actually earn the right to wear a jersey and be accepted as a member of the team. These walk-ons are the teams tackle dummies, and that's about all they are. They get all the crap jobs, they get mercilessly beaten by the other team members. The first stringers actually key on the walk-ons to weed out the weak. If you see a walk-on sitting on the bench wearing a jersey during the game, you're looking at one tough, determined individual. Remember the great movie "Rudy"? Well, it didn't even BEGIN to show what a walk-on endures. While I'm a Southerner, and ALL Southern boys are taught from youth to hate Notre Dame vehemently, we all admire Notre Dames history.

  35. Any event labeled luck is against all odds, there is nothing about that should inspire you. The exact same luck puts kids in the home of abusers and people who don't read.

  36. I didn't have enough room to finish my comment, but this is important. All you businessmen and women out there..... Keep an eye on this Bongiovi kid. Watch him until he graduates, and GRAB HIM IMMEDIATELY! I guarantee you he is a "one of a kind" person and employee. He will FAR exceed your expectations because he sets high expectations for HIMSELF. You won't have to baby him, or constantly tell him what to do, he will KNOW what to do, and take the initiative to do it without being told. I would hire him instantly, no matter what his major is.

  37. Good for these kids and good for their parents, who apparently are real parents. This is a delightful story and young Bongiovi sounds like a great kid. I would certainly be proud of him if he were my son or grandson. As for the is full of risks of every kind, shape, and opportunity. Imagine the risk of denying this young man his dream. As parents sometimes we stifle our concerns, say our prayers, and watch our kids grow into people who can "take it," people we not only love but respect. I hope Jesse plays at least one play during his ND years, but, if not, what a marvelous education academically and in real life he will leave with on graduation day...with his whole family in attendance.

  38. Laughable. Notre Dame recruits the kids of famous parents because they have money. Period. Duke does the same, as do many other schools. The ponzu scheme of colleges and universities needed to fund the escalation of building and salaries is a perversion of society when so many people could use the help.

  39. Charles Ponzi. Hence, ponzi scheme.

  40. Oh, and one other thing. Recall what the sidelines used to look like at USC games. Full of the rich and famous. Ditto Notre Dame. Introducing a High School recruit to a star is a great recruiting tool. Always a motive, always.

  41. Every story on some celebrity's kids takes up space in the brain that could be better filled with something that matters. The American machine is run by a business lobbyists with a direct monetary interest in dulling America's minds.

  42. Interesting article. This may help to explain the football team's record, a little. What the team needs really are not sons of famous men, but football players.

  43. NO what the SEC teams need are more students. Applaud ND for actually making sure that they have student-athletes and not just thugs for hire.

  44. I have to question the judgment of any person who wants to play college football or any parent that encourages such a decision, given the wealth of information that you are almost certain to damage your brain.