TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. A paternity test shows college football hero George Gipp wasn't the father of a girlfriend's child born shortly after his death, a family member said Saturday, but bitterness persisted over the exhumation of the body.
The remains of Notre Dame's first All-American, who inspired the rallying cry "win one for the Gipper," were taken last month from a Michigan grave in 87 years after he died from pneumonia and a strep infection.
His right femur was removed and DNA samples compared with skin tissue from Bette Bright Weeks, who died last January at age 86. Weeks had been told Gipp was her father, said Mike Bynum, an author planning a book on the football legend.
Tests at a Texas laboratory showed no link between the two, said Bynum and Rick Frueh of Chicago, a great-nephew of Gipp's who requested the exhumation. Frueh said he still believed the action was justified to determine whether rumors that Gipp had fathered a child were true.
"Helping family is the strongest act of love that we can offer each other. If it happened again, our response would be the same," Frueh said in a statement.
Karl Gipp, who is George Gipp's first cousin once removed, described the treatment of the body as "a disgrace to George himself and the community."