An Open Letter to Lou Nanni

Below is a letter I’m sending to Lou Nanni. In case you don’t already know, Lou is in charge of overseeing the fund-raising efforts of the University of Notre Dame. The letter is my response to what I consider unethical treatment of Notre Dame students, alumni, and guests during home football weekends. I’m also CC’ing Fr. Jenkins, president of the university.

Update: At the bottom of the post, I’ve included the address of Mr. Nanni and the address of Fr. Jenkins. Also, I’ve slightly modified the original letter to include mention of the Indiana State Excise Police.

Dear Sir:

I’m sure the responsibility of overseeing the fund-raising activities of the University of Notre Dame is a difficult one. I just thought you’d like to know that your job is being made more difficult thanks to the efforts of the NDSP, the South Bend Police Department, and the Indiana State Excise Police, and the inaction of the administration of the University of Notre Dame.

It’s been brought to my attention, far too often, that students, alumni, and guests of the university, particularly on football weekends, are being abused – there’s no other word for it – by local law enforcement agencies. Several horror stories have been relayed to me by fellow Notre Dame graduates, and unfortunately I’ve witnessed some terribly embarrassing activity by the NDSP in the last few years. Luckily, I’ve never been a victim of either agency. Sadly, I can only consider such a fact to be a bit of luck on my part, despite always behaving in a responsible manner while visiting Notre Dame. The actions of these police squads, whom should better be called “brute squads,” have become a real problem for the university, and yet the university seems to be turning a blind-eye. In fact, the University of Notre Dame, through their inaction and lack of response to this problem, seems to be sponsoring the unconscionable, often absurd, activities of the South Bend Police Department, the Indiana State Excise Police, and the NDSP. So long as that sponsorship continues, I will no longer financially sponsor the University of Notre Dame. So long as the Notre Dame administration does not act to resolve the discord between the Notre Dame community and those in charge of serving and protecting that community, I will no longer donate to the University of Notre Dame.

No doubt, if you take this letter and your job seriously, you’ll review my donation records. Hopefully you do not consider me “small time.” As a 2000 graduate of the university, I’m fairly young, and I have enormous income potential and a real penchant for holding a grudge. Take this matter seriously, Mr. Nanni. Make sure your superiors take this matter seriously and act on resolving these issues, or you won’t get a dime from me in the future.

As you may gather from the letter, I have not, to this point, donated a ton of money every year to the university. However, I do donate annually, but I will not be doing so this year, even if the problems are resolved immediately. There needs to be some punitive action by alumni for the absurd actions by the South Bend Police Department, the NDSP, and the inaction by the Notre Dame administration. I encourage you to take the same punitive action. Donate the money you’d normally give to the university to a worthy cause, by all means, but not to an organization that sponsors abusive behavior by law enforcement agencies.

Further, if you do choose not to donate this year, be sure to let the university know why. Send your own letters to Mr. Nanni and Fr. Jenkins.


Louis Mario Nanni
405 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
574 631 6122

Rev. John I. Jenkins
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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  • Trey

    You’ll probably just get a form letter back that says “thank you for your letter, we have received a number of complaints like yours and will be investigating this situation. We appreciate your support and hope that you will reconsider your decision to donate to the university. The NDSP, etc serve an invaluable service to the university working in their overtime for little pay…blah blah blah.”


    Trey, that may be the case if I’m the only one taking this action. I’m not.

  • The Biscuit

    I’m doing the same. The stories have gotten more and more ridiculous. It can’t just be random – it has to be orchestrated. I plan to test this by boozing my face off at the Stanford Game this weekend.

  • The Biscuit

    MQ, why don’t you publish the physical/email addresses of these parties so others can act in a similar manner more easily? Might be helpful for some folks (oh, and I’m too lazy to look them up myself).

  • DeepTeaKup

    So does this mean the end of the “Her Loyal Sons Memorial Flip Cup Table” project?

  • The Biscuit

    DTK. Never!

  • fightingsonofnotredame

    The address below are what Mike Coffey had posted and I thought I saw an email of the head of NDSP earlier also but I can’t find it.

    This is so messed up. I saw this “dry campus” mentality coming back in the late 90’s. The scariest part is these ignorant goons actually going after people based on comments they’re making about the process in general. What country are we living in, never mind the fact that we’re supposed to be university devoted to higher education?

    Don’t bother with emails. They get deleted unread.

    Send physical letters to people detailing your thoughts. Some possible recipients:

    Fr. John Jenkins, CSC
    President, University of Notre Dame
    400 Main Building
    Notre Dame, IN 46556

    Mr. John Affleck-Graves
    EVP, University of Notre Dame
    400 Main Building
    Notre Dame, IN 46556

    Mr. Jack Swarbrick
    Director of Athletics, University of Notre Dame
    C113 Joyce Center
    Notre Dame, IN 46556

    Send the letters return receipt, meaning someone at ND will have to sign for them and you’ll get a postcard confirming your letter was delivered.

  • Nathan P Origer
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  • Chas. Betka

    Hello Loyal Sons. This is Chas., B.A. 1975, College of Arts and Letters. A Loyal Son.
    Are there any recorded or litigated incidents of interpersonal violence or wanton property destruction from the parking lots/tailgating areas of our University? I’ve heard vague accounts of holding tank dumping in the R/V areas and have seen the vast and unforgivable litter of beer cans, trash and waste left in the lots, (bring more trash bags and clean up behind yourselves). But equally unforgivable is the presence of armed, snotty bands of “rent-a-cops” and in-uniform, on-duty police roaming the lots and ruining football Saturdays for an increasing number of Loyal Sons and Daughters who are behaving like the energetic, enthusiastic fans that define Notre Dame.
    If there are documented incidents of ND folk acting violently or destructively then passive patrols are warranted. If there are no incidents documented or prosecuted then my advice to the 4 (?) law enforcement agencies is to let ND Nation “crank me up” as we see fit. Horse cops charging tailgaters?! Shame on them.
    Are any ND Law students or grads willing to kick this can down the halls of justice?
    From bitter experience, albeit 33 years ago, ND Nation will not move nor sway the Administration.
    Lawyers of ND….step up!
    Don’t cut your contributions to the University of Our Lady of the Lake. She is one of the reasons you are able to contribute. Treat this as what it is; personal responsibility vs. law enforcement run amok. That’s a legal thing.
    And Hey!….how ’bout them IRISH!!

  • Craig

    Chas, the University was sued in 1983 after a woman’s leg was broken somewhere in the lots by an allegedly inebriated patron postgame. After the trial court awarded ND a summary judgement, the ruling was reversed on appeal, with the appellate court holding that ND did have at least a minimal duty of care to people in the tailgate lots, and there was a legitimate dispute of fact as to whether that duty was breached. As far as I know, the case was settled after being remanded.

    I’m not a lawyer (though I am a fairly well-educated lay person), and I apologize if I’ve misused any terms of art.

  • weisgipper

    Here’s something else you might find interesting too:

    If you watch some of Charlie’s press conferences from the past week, when he talks about Yeatman and the tight ends, he’s very evasive.

    After the drunk driving incident, Weis quickly suspended Yeatman. However, after the recent raid at the party, the line has been, “Let’s wait to see how this is resolved with the SBPD…” Meanwhile, Yeatman has continued to practice with the team.

    I think your blog could be right on the money. Arrested does not equal guilty and if Yeatman is acquitted, I’d bet that he’ll be back on the team soon.

  • gwzimm

    I wonder if the Storm Troopers hassle students and fans at Purdue, IU, or Ball State like they do at Notre Dame? Hmmmmm?

    The excise police aren’t new, they practiced the same shit back in the 60’s. I was in Joer’s (now defunct bar) one night as an 18 year old freshman, and the excise police walked in and started carding everyone. I ran into the kitchen, grabbed a mop and started mopping the floor. It didn’t work, but I got points from the cops for trying.

    The fine was $100. Daddy sent me a check.

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