Hall of Fame college football coach Lou Holtz joined “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday to respond to the likelihood that the 2020 season will be severely curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic — if there is a season at all.
Holtz, who guided Notre Dame to its most recent football national championship in 1988, told host Laura Ingraham that what Ingraham called the “war on American life” brought by the outbreak will likely end “when we have the election.”
“When you’re in a leadership role, Laura, you have to look at things from both points of view. Look at it from the player’s point of view, as well as from a coach’s point of view,” Holtz said. “The way it is right now, they just don’t want to have sports and there’s no way in this world you can do anything in this world without a risk. People stormed Normandy … They knew there was going to be casualties, they knew there was going to be risk, but it was a way of life.”
Holtz then responded to the news that the Big Ten schools plan to only play conference games in the fall of 2020, saying that if the other so-called “Power 5” conferences follow suit, it could have a “devastating effect” on smaller programs.
“My son’s [Skip Holtz] the head coach at Louisiana Tech,” Holtz said. “They’re supposed to play Baylor [and] Vanderbilt [this fall]. Those are money games, those are very, very important to them.
“But how are you going to have football when they don’t even want to have school? Notre Dame has said, ‘OK, we’re going to start on August 10.’ Now some of the faculty members have said, ‘It’s too risky, I don’t want to go.’ You have teachers unions saying we shouldn’t go back to school. The underprivileged, the people from the poor neighborhoods, where are they going to get an education? What has happened to our way of life?”
Holtz then extolled the virtues of the sport, telling Ingraham that football is a “microcosm of life.”
“You learn about sacrifice, you learn about teamwork, getting along with other people. You learn to work on your skills, to make sacrifices, to make a total commitment to other people for the welfare of the overall team …”
“People want to be a part of something,” Holtz went on. “That’s how gangs came about. When they started deemphasizing athletics in schools, people starting joining a gang because young people want to be part of something. And you’re taking that away from them?”