George F. Will: Consider some curiosities of the sports-academia complex

Published: Sunday, Jan. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Leahy was a national celebrity. In 1956, Leahy would second the nomination of Dwight Eisenhower at the Republican convention. In 1953, however, the steely Hesburgh had fired Leahy — never mind the talk about Leahy leaving because of health problems. Since then, Notre Dame's football fortunes have varied but its academic reputation has risen steadily.

Football has hardly lost its hold on the campus. The large mural on the library that overlooks the stadium shows Jesus with both arms raised and is famously called "Touchdown Jesus." The statue of Father William Corby — a 19th-century president of the university — depicts him with his right hand held straight up and is known as "Fair Catch Corby." And the statue of Moses with his index finger pointed skyward is "We're Number One Moses."

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

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