It’s hard to accept that after 20 years of believing in something with all your heart, you’re entirely wrong. This is especially true when it comes to football team fandom. At the ripe old age of 20, I’m contemplating my lifelong fandom of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

After the events that have unfolded during the last couple of years, it has become nearly impossible to be a self-assured Notre Dame fan.

From the 2009 suicide of St. Mary’s freshman Lizzy Seeberg after she was allegedly assaulted by a Notre Dame football player to the death of Declan Sullivan, the student who fell to his death while filming football practice (an incident for which the university took no responsibility), Notre Dame’s reputation has been tarnished by many a scandal. Still, fans have continued to make excuses for a team and a school which are really no better than Penn State.

Now, there’s a fresh scandal involving linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o, who lost two important women during this past season. Ironically, one of these women does not exist: his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.

At first, I reacted the same way I did with the last two scandals: I shrugged it off and made some excuse about how it was just one guy on a team of decent people.

But as the media began to pick apart his story and Te’o offered one implausible xplanation after another, I realized how ridiculous his lies were. Ultimately, I realized I can’t continue to stand up for a team that has no moral ground. I’ve defended one too many scandals.

[quote]So I, a born and raised Notre Dame fan, am renouncing my lifelong fandom for the Fighting Irish. [/quote]

But I’m not writing this column for me. I know I’m not the only one who continues to stand up for Notre Dame even when I know they’re in the wrong.

I’ve seen the sweatshirts and baseball caps and the Facebook statuses of the downtrodden on the day of the National Championship.

I know you’re out there, Elon University Notre Dame fans, and it’s time for all of us to face the facts. Do you want to support a team that tries to cover up scandal after scandal? Are you willing to stand by as Notre Dame Athletics continue to disregard morality for the sake of the game? I don’t know about you, but I can’t look the other way any longer.

College is a time to form your own opinions and become the person you want to be. You’re welcome to believe what you want, but think about what you’re supporting. If it doesn’t faze you, so be it. But if you’re like me, maybe you’ll see that

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