Just five days after accepting the position as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team in December of 2001, George O’Leary resigned in disgrace. An investigation had revealed that more than twenty years before he had included false claims on his resume, including saying that he had lettered in football when he was not even on the team and that he had a master’s degree which he had not earned. The lies had not been discovered at any of his previous coaching jobs, but the high profile accorded the position of coach at Notre Dame led to his exposure.
In a statement O’Leary said: “Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni, and fans. With that in mind, I will resign my position as head football coach.” Though a considerable amount of time passed between O’Leary’s deception and its discovery, it did come to light with devastating results. He had seemingly reached the heights of his profession, only to wake up and find it all taken away.