I am a big USC football fan, and so I was a little disappointed to learn yesterday that Manti Te'o, a highly recruited and prized high school football player from Hawaii, decided to play for Notre Dame and not USC. This disappointment, however, is infinitely minor in comparison to my disappointment with Notre Dame, and the seeming primacy of importance it places on football over its Catholic identity and foundation.
Because he is Mormon, Manti Te'o may very well be taking a leave of absence from Notre Dame after his freshman year in order to embark on a religious mission; a mission which entails proselytizing a Mormon faith that the Catholic Church does not deem to be theologically Christian. Should Te'o leave on a mission and be allowed to later return on full scholarship, I just don't see how Notre Dame can escape the charge that it effectively supported the proselytizing of a non-Catholic/Christian religion. Of course, maybe Notre Dame just doesn't want to be Catholic anymore.