Notre Dame’s visit in December set off a frenzy in the Sun City which had their followers, fans and alumni thrilled to see the Fighting Irish on the Sun Bowl field.
The game sold out in a matter of hours and Notre Dame gear and souvenirs flew off store shelves.
But now it’s the college that wants something from El Paso. It wants Cathedral High School administrators to stop using its logo and referring to themselves as the fighting Irish.
Cathedral’s students and teams have been known as the Fighting Irish for 86 years, but soon they will simply be known as the Irish. Their fighting Irish leprechaun also will have to go.
Cathedral?s principal, Brother Nick Gonzalez, said Notre Dame sent the high school a letter last fall and it was clear to him Notre Dame meant business.
?I think we were more than willing to comply and understand their position and they were very gracious and understood ours,? Gonzalez said.
According to the letter from the University of Notre Dame, the school must remove the fighting leprechaun logo, as well as the word fighting from in front of Irish, which can be seen on the school’s main sign, at the entrance to the Cathedral football locker room and even on the back of the school’s gymnasium.
?It’s been tough. It’s been kind of hard on us,” said Rudy Forti, Cathedral’s athletic director.
He said the school has been given three years to phase the logo and the word fighting out of everything, including its uniforms, which has cost the school thousands of dollars.
?We can’t do it all at once because we wouldn’t have anything to wear,? Forti said. ?I don’t think it would be wise for us to try and fight it. Notre Dame is very powerful. They’ve got a lot of money.”
ABC-7 received a statement from a Notre Dame spokesmman about the Cathedral situation. According to the statement, ?Because of U.S. trademark law, to allow others to use our trademarks as their own would dilute … the university’s rights to its marks to the point where its proprietary claim could be at risk.”
The spokesman said Cathedral is not the only school in the country that Notre Dame has contacted about this issue.