Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Cheers Distract From Win

Feb. 15, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rather than basking in his team’s win, Notre Dame coach Matt Doherty spent yesterday extending his apologies.

He faxed an apology to the Huskies for the behavior of some of the student body.

In the midst of Saturday’s upset, the student section drew more attention than the actual play on the floor.

Just to the side of the UConn bench is Section 34, it is the place where the student body sits. It became the place where UConn head coach Jim Calhoun’s icy stare was directed.

He felt that the students chose to chant things, which had no place in sports.

The entire student body did not participate but a large group did. The group aimed its cheers at UConn point guard Khalid El-Amin. They chimed into together chanting, “bastard children.”

The chant specifically referred to the fact that El-Amin fathered a child out of wedlock. He is currently married and also has another child.

“There’s no place for it in sport,” Calhoun said about the cheers.

The student pep band quickly struck up a quick song to quiet the distasteful chant. At that time, Calhoun rushed to the scorer’s table to voice his disgust with the students.

These remarks came after the pre-game pep rally when students made references to what Allah would think of El-Amin’s actions.

Realizing the seriousness of the matter, Notre Dame put in place measures to prevent this in the future. Now, more ushers will be assigned to police the student section and signs will no longer be allowed.

Signs flashed in the game including ones poking fun at El-Amin’s arrest for marijuana possession.

After writing his apology to Calhoun, Doherty proceeded to write a letter to Notre Dame’s sixth man, the student body, explaining that behavior like Saturday’s has no place in the game of basketball.