How Notre Dame basketball got its nickname and why you shouldn’t let it get away
Posted On May 25, 2021
It may have been in the air for decades, but the name of the school’s men’s basketball team is beginning to fade in popularity.
The Irish basketball team was formally known as the Fighting Irish for the first time in the 2016-17 season, and that wasn’t a good look for the program, which had won just two of its first five games.
The team has since lost three straight, including an 87-83 loss to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The name change was sparked by the NCAA’s new rule to change the name from Fighting Irish to Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball teams.
The new rules, which took effect in 2019, were meant to prevent schools from taking the name Fighting Irish and then changing it later in the season to something else.
It was a move that led to some ire from some fans, including the school of Notre Dame, who felt it was disrespectful to the legacy of their team.
The NCAA later backed off the rule and said it would allow for the naming of any team by the end of 2021.
Now, the NCAA is considering whether or not the Fighting Ireland name can be changed to something more neutral to avoid any negative backlash.
It’s a good idea, but Notre Dame fans should understand it’s a tricky issue, ESPN’s Scott Zolak said in an interview.
“This is something that’s going to take some time to come to fruition,” he said.
The Fighting Irish have struggled in recent years, dropping seven of their last eight games, including four straight losses to top-ranked Clemson.
It remains to be seen if the Fighting the Irish will be a top-10 team in 2020.