Government, public honor National Champs
The community hailed the champion Notre Dame women's basketball team Sunday at a public pep rally at the University's Joyce Center.
The ceremony included remarks by athletic officials, Notre Dame administrators and senior members of the team. The presentation of the Sears Cup and video tributes featuring season highlights were also part of the event.
Several local politicians were also on hand to recognize the team's victory over Purdue April 1 in the NCAA tournament.
Mishawaka Mayor Bob Beutter and South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke presented head coach Muffet McGraw with the keys to both cities. Beutter named the team members honorary Mishawaka citizens and appointed McGraw honorary mayor of the city.
"My first act as honorary mayor is to cut all the prices at the mall by 50 percent," McGraw joked.
The Sunday event followed word Friday that the team had been honored by the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar on Friday introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Senate to honor the team's championship.
The resolution by the Indiana senators passed by unanimous consent Friday afternoon.
"This remarkable group of young women have taken their place in Notre Dame's long and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence," Bayh said. "The determination and commitment of both the Fighting Irish and the Boilermakers exemplifies our Hoosier values and serves as a tremendous source of pride for the state of Indiana."
"The women's basketball players of Notre Dame offer an example of dedication, skill and sportsmanship as they bring Notre Dame its first national basketball title," Lugar said.
U.S. Rep Tim Roemer,D-South Bend, has sent a letter to President Bush requesting a special White House ceremony to honor the Notre Dame team.
Noah Amstadter contributed to this report.
All News Stories for Monday, April 9, 2001