Football as an Educational Experience:
"Notre Dame's purpose is to educate people and that's what all colleges should be. Football should be a tremendous educational experience. I think the greatest thing about football is it's like a family and everybody wants to belong. A family doesn't mean you have to have the same last name and same address. Family means you help one another, you love one another and you encourage one another. Football is a great educational experience - to get knocked down and have to get up again ... and again. It's hard to practice sometimes and you have to be unselfish."
"If it was up to me, we wouldn't tell anybody who the players are that sign letters of intent. What happens is this-when you have a good recruiting year, everybody wants to put them in the hall of fame. As I'm quick to remind, they're not from Krypton. They're mere mortals. They bleed when you cut them. Let's wait and see how good they are after they get here. That's the time to judge how well you recruited."
Notre Dame and the 1992 Sugar Bowl:
"I was having dinner with my family at a restaurant just prior to taking the team to New Orleans in 1991, and our waiter came up and said, 'What's the difference between Cheerios and Notre Dame? Cheerios belong in a bowl.' That didn't make me feel real good and when I repeated it to our players in New Orleans, I think they understood how our team was viewed coming into the Sugar Bowl. My response to the waiter went like this: 'What's the difference between a golf pro and Lou Holtz? A golf pro gives tips.'" (Within a week after the Sugar Bowl victory, General Mills-maker of Cheerios-sent 120 boxes of the breakfast cereal to Holtz with a note that said, "Like the Fighting Irish, we have been one of America's favorites for years. And as your team dramatically proved, both do belong in bowls." The cases of cereal were donated to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend)
"I'm not in favor of paying a stipend to athletes. First of all, an education over a four-year period is worth a tremendous amount. I'm afraid if you start paying athletes, where do you stop? First, it's $100 a month, then $200, then $500. Many people don't realize that any student attending a college or university can apply for a Pell Grant and receive as much as $2,340 a year if he qualifies. These grants are available for those who come to college without great financial resources-even to athletes on full scholarship-and the funds can be used in any way the recipient chooses."
"The best thing I can say about walk-ons is this: When our football team comes back 15 years from now to celebrate, the walk-ons will have earned great respect-not for what they did on the field during a game but because of the toughness, dedication and persistence they showed. I have never seen a walk-on who has stayed in the program for four years who was not successful in life. I cannot think of one. If I was hiring, I would hire a walk-on who didn't play but stayed in a program for four years. It is very demanding. There's something about these people that you just can't buy."