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LYING IN WAIT
Gary Smith
April 08, 2002
As George O'Leary climbed the coaching ladder to his dream job at Notre Dame, a dirty secret was lurking in his résumé. But did he pay too high a price for a few lies?
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April 08, 2002

Lying In Wait

As George O'Leary climbed the coaching ladder to his dream job at Notre Dame, a dirty secret was lurking in his résumé. But did he pay too high a price for a few lies?

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I also thank you for your wisdom in hiring O'Leary....

Sincerely,
Barbara Wiggins,
Rich Wiggins's Mom

******

Luca is 77. He's determined the fates of liars and birth-certificate forgers—passed judgment in the Danny Almonte case just last summer—during his quarter century on the board of Little League Baseball International. As a boy during the Depression, working at his family's gas station, he was astonished when adults volunteered to pump their own gas so they could squeeze out an extra nickel's worth and then plead that their hands had slipped. But then, Luca himself filched dimes from the till, from his own blood, and clamped his lips when his grandfather confronted him.

What should he have done that day, that moment after George gave him the look? Could he have averted the personal catastrophe that lay in silent wait for George for the next 23 years, gathering, girding? What would you have done?

Say nothing. That's all the old man wants of you for now. First you must know George and the soil that grew his lies, maybe your lies, my lies. First you must know the net effect of his 55 years on earth and lay that against the net effect of the sin.

Here. Take one. Read it. It's George's curriculum vitae. Not the bogus one claiming that he lettered in football for three years at the University of New Hampshire and holds a master's degree in education from New York University. Not a bare-bones list of jobs and dates. A man is so much more than that—doesn't vitae mean "of life"? Then you can decide. Then you'll have the right to make Luca's choice.

******

GEORGE J. O'LEARY

BIRTH DATE: Aug. 17, 1946
STATUS: Married with four children
EXPERIENCE: 1953-60 Altar boy

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