September 16, 2007

No Hart, little heart

Irish Illustrated Editors Column

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - We should have seen this one coming.

A week ago when Mike Hart guaranteed a Michigan win over Notre Dame, this outcome became a forgone conclusion. The temptation after Saturday's 38-0 Wolverines' pasting would be to chalk the result up to Michigan owning Hart and Notre Dame still searching for one. But the infection afflicting the Irish football program runs deeper than running back talent.

When Hart promised a victory over Notre Dame he took the spotlight off the beleaguered Lloyd Carr. He reduced those losses to Appalachian State and Oregon to sidebars. Hart turned himself into the story to save his team. He put the kind of pressure on the Wolverines that no rah-rah coachspeak can generate.

Can you imagine a Notre Dame player doing the same?

I can't.

In fact, when pressed on the issue last week Maurice Crum said Notre Dame doesn't want a player like Hart on the roster.

"I couldn't see myself or anyone on our team doing that just because, if guys need that kind of motivation, then we don't need those kind of guys around," Crum said. "We feel like everybody should know the situation week in, week out, come to work, and that should be enough."

Obviously it's not.

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