In December '88, I had reconstructive surgery on my shoulder, and now it feels as good as new. I don't know if it would stand up to pass blocking, but I take judo, and it has never bothered me in the slightest. I think I could be as good a football player as ever, but I'll never know.
I recently looked at page 65 of Holtz's book, where he says, "I am very proud to be at the University of Notre Dame. I will never do anything to embarrass you." I wondered why that doesn't include me. I wondered why this man, who left the players he recruited in the lurch on every other college team he coached, had singled me out. Why this coach who quit the Jets after one season had decided to judge me in a way that will harm my reputation for a long time. I'm told that Holtz now says he regrets having mentioned me by name in the book, and that's fine. But there's one other statement in The Fighting Spirit I would like to bring up. The words are from Barry Alvarez, formerly the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame and now the new coach at Wisconsin.
"I think Lou's emphasis with the kids on staying healthy and on fundamentals was key...," says Alvarez. "If they were injured, it was because they had a bad attitude. If you got hurt, you were in trouble."
I got hurt, so I guess I have a bad attitude. I know I got in trouble. Let me say this, though: I may be a quitter, but I didn't quit Notre Dame, and I didn't quit football. The only thing I quit was Lou Holtz.