To the Editor:

In light of the recent firing of head coach Tyrone Willingham from the Notre Dame football program, Yale should take the opportunity to learn from one of its contemporaries. While it is obvious that at present the Fighting Irish program is much more high-profile than that of the Eli, the two do share a passion for the tradition and standards that should be exemplified by their respective programs. It is for this reason that Yale should follow suit and remove Jack Sidlecki from his position as head coach of Yale football.

Willingham would still have his job this year — thanks to upsets over Tennessee and Michigan and a second bowl appearance in three years — had he not lost heartbreaking games to both Pittsburgh and Boston College (the latter for the fourth straight season). Likewise, Yale should not be duped by “impressive” wins over Colgate or Princeton, but instead should look to recent performances against formidable opponents like Pennsylvania and especially Harvard. At the current moment, 100 percent of Yale undergraduates do not know what it feels like to be victorious in The Game. Coach Sidlecki has led the Eli 11 to victory over the Cantabs only three times in his eight-year tenure in New Haven. Over that span, he has a 27-29 record in conference play with only one Ivy League title.

Notre Dame fired Willingham for not returning their program to the echelon of college football’s elite. The uninspired play exhibited this year in Cambridge did not look like it held well for Yale’s future, either. Tom Beckett, please right the ship and help restore the winning tradition that Yale is so proud of.

Gary P. Fernando ’03

Dec. 1, 2004