How will Touchdown Jesus look on a JumboTron? Perish the thought, some Notre Dame traditionalists say. But head coach Brian Kelly is all for it.
At a cost of $750,000, Notre Dame coaching legend Knute Rockne helped design the original Notre Dame Stadium in 1930; now Brian Kelly wants to give the football museum a makeover.
And so a heated debate is underway in South Bend, Ind. which could end more than 80 years of tradition for the Fighting Irish.
While Notre Dame struggles to be relevant again on the field, Kelly is aggressively pushing school leaders to add a JumboTron to the beloved football palace.
"I don't think it's a mystery that we'd like that," Kelly told the South Bend Tribune of the huge scoreboard, "but, it's not going to be my call. They know how I feel. I don't want to beat a dead horse with it either, but I think it's pretty clear we want to create a great atmosphere."
That's not the only controversial change Kelly wants. The coach would like Notre Dame to dump its thick natural grass in favor of synthetic turf. Kelly told the Chicago Tribune he wants to improve the outdated game day experience in South Bend as soon as 2012. "I hope so," Kelly said.
Despite an only-decent 12-8 record in two years on the job, Kelly's influence will go along way to convince the 169 year-old private Catholic school of higher learning to embark on a new course.
With a few renovations along the way, Notre Dame Stadium has been the home to all the big moments in Fighting Irish history over the past 81 seasons. Rockne was only able to coach in the stadium during its initial season of use. The old coach demanded that the stadium be used for football only, and he made sure the area between the field and the sidelines was small to discourage having too many sideline guests.
Notre Dame (4-3), plays Navy this weekend in South Bend. The Fighting Irish are ranked 29th in total offense (438.86) while the defense is 58th in the nation (373.71).
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