University President Fr. John Jenkins lives by two important words: faith and reason. Those principles, he said, informed his at-times controversial decisions, and will continue to guide him into his second term.Reflecting on his first term as University President, Jenkins said it’s difficult to be under the media microscope while working to clearly communicate the goals of a Catholic university.“We live in a time where there are a lot of voices out there and it’s hard in the midst of that to speak over all the noise,” Jenkins said in an interview with The Observer. “I think that one of my roles is to articulate what we are.”Most recently, last spring’s controversy over the invitation to President Barack Obama to receive an honorary degree at Commencement and the football coaching change this fall have thrust the University, and Jenkins, into the spotlight.“I think you try always to do the thing that’s best according to your deepest principles, whether eyes are on you or not, you still do that,” he said. “There’s a lot of noise and a lot of attention, but in the end it’s really simple: you just try to do what’s best, what accords with the mission of Notre Dame.”Adhering to that mission is one of the challenges for Jenkins as University President, a position he did not foresee himself holding.‘A series of steps in life’“I didn’t see myself doing this, and it wasn’t a driving ambition of mine,” Jenkins said. “It was a series of steps in life that led me here and led me to this.”Graduating from Notre Dame with a degree in philosophy in 1976, Jenkins was drawn to the priesthood and was ordained in 1983.“I think with that there’s always an element of mystery. I’ve always felt that desire for something of depth, something meaningful in my life.”That search for something more led Jenkins to “think deeply about faith and about God” and about what he was going to do with his life.“That eventually led me to think about serving people as a priest, someone who strives to bring Christ to people,” he said.After attending graduate school at Oxford and serving on the faculty at Notre Dame, Jenkins moved to the Provost’s Office. In 2004, he was elected president to succeed University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy.Jenkins said his studies in philosophy have helped him perform the duties of the Office of the President. He tells his students philosophy is “just thinking hard, thinking clearly” about important issues.“I always found them to my mind the sort of profound issues of life, of human life … and I genuinely enjoyed grappling with those issues … it just resonated with who I was,” he said, “and that’s what we do every day.” Every day challenges“My challenge every day is time,” Jenkins said. “You have all these pressures and people demand your time, so it’s always a struggle.”Serving as president of a university is a balancing act, he said. Daily meetings, traveling and full schedules leave little time for anything else.Though Jenkins no longer interacts with students in the classroom as professor, an aspect of his life he says he misses, “nothing is more important than keeping in touch with the students.”“It is one of the joys of my job to talk to students and I try to make that a part of what I do,” he said.Jenkins’ biggest challenge, however, is a positive one: “to live up to a mission that is distinctive in higher education and to realize the tremendous potential of Notre Dame in the 21st century.”Jenkins said there are three important aspects to Notre Dame’s goal: to provide unparalleled undergraduate education, to be a preeminent research university and to let the Catholic mission “inform everything we do.”“If we do all three, Notre Dame can make contributions to society and the nation and the Church that is really unique,” he said. “And my passion in this job is to make that contribution and to help Notre Dame make that contribution.”These goals will carry into Jenkins’ second term as University president, he said. “You always have to keep striving — if you’re not striving, you’re falling backwards.”He said he hopes progress toward achieving those goals is part of the legacy he leaves behind on the University, as well as making Notre Dame an important venue for debate on “important issues,” even if they’re controversial.“I hope Notre Dame can be a place where we can have those kinds of conversations and can engage people who are the leaders of our nation, the influential people of the world,” Jenkins said. “The University particularly should be a place that’s open to a diversity of views, even views that challenge us.”Jenkins’ decisions in the past, including inviting President Barack Obama to receive an honorary degree from the University, have drawn criticism from Church representatives, including John D’Arcy, former bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.While he believes “the bishop has a role in the diocese of teaching the faith” and that it’s important that he, as University president, personally remains close to the bishop, Jenkins said some decisions belong to the University.“It’s appropriate the University should make those decisions, as best we can on the principles that guide the institution,” he said. “I’m committed to working with the bishop to help Notre Dame, to help Notre Dame serve the Church and serve the diocese.” A Catholic university for the 21st century Jenkins said establishing these relationships — with the Church and with national leaders — and working toward achieving the University’s central goals, puts Notre Dame in a unique position.“The thing about Notre Dame, we’re sort of inventing a Catholic university for the 21st century,” he said. “There have been great Catholic universities, but history has changed, society has changed, universities have changed.”Undertaking the challenge to create the new Catholic university depends on Jenkins’ guiding principles, drawn from his studies in philosophy and his calling to the priesthood.“I think a Catholic university is the institutional expression of a confidence in the harmony of faith and reason — that’s why we exist. If we didn’t believe that, let’s just shut the doors and go home.”The two are not in conflict with each other, but rather inform every aspect of Notre Dame, he said.“There’s nothing more central to us. That means, the inquiring mind in the search for truth and all the challenges that involves along the way is not in conflict with a faith in God,” Jenkins said. “It is precisely that confidence in that harmony and the strength of the Catholic faith — that’s the reason why Notre Dame exists.”The coming weeks will bring the most rewarding part of Jenkins’ presidency: conferring degrees on graduating students.“Every graduation is my proudest moment, just to send people off to see how they’ve grown,” he said. “That’s why we’re here. They’re going to do great things in the world after being at Notre Dame, and that’s a great accomplishment.”
The league and the players’ union reached agreement on a plan last Friday, after all preseason games were canceled. Team facilities were shut down by Goodell in late March and only began reopening on a cautious basis this summer. Goodell stressed the need for adaptability on all levels, citing how a virtual draft was held in April. All 32 teams held remote offseason training sessions, too.The NFL has opted not to create a bubble environment, something the NHL, NBA, WNBA and MLS have done. With Major League Baseball experiencing difficulties on its first weekend of play with a plan similar to the NFL’s, there is added anxiety about what Goodell’s league has planned.In other NFL news:— Minnesota Vikings vice president of sports medicine Eric Sugarman has tested positive for COVID-19. Sugarman is in charge of the organization’s virus prevention plan as the infection control officer. The team announced that Sugarman and his family tested positive over the weekend. The Vikings said they’ve tested all individuals who’d recently been in close contact with Sugarman. —New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has signed its four 2020 draft picks to four-year contracts. The signings were announced as rookies reported for training camp on Monday. New Orleans’ most recent draft class is headlined by first-round pick Cesar Ruiz. The Saints also drafted Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun and Dayton tight end Adam Trautman in the third round. They took Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens in the seventh round. At least 3 MLB games postponed amid Marlins’ virus outbreakUNDATED (AP) — More than a dozen Miami Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia, disrupting Major League Baseball’s schedule on the fifth day of the pandemic-delayed season. Miami’s home opener against Baltimore was postponed as was Tuesday’s finale of the two-game series at Marlins Park. Also postponed was the Yankees’ series opener Monday at Philadelphia, where New York would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.Nine Marlins players on the 30-man roster, two taxi squad players and two staff members tested positive.The Yankees are staying in Philadelphia and have their own clubhouse staff with the team there. The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies.The Orioles are scheduled to host the Marlins in a two-game series starting Wednesday. Irving commits $1.5 million for WNBA players skipping seasonNEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of WNBA players who choose not to play this season. That can be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons.The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched today. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.The WNBA season began Saturday and will be played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. To be eligible for Irving’s program, WNBA players must give insight into their decisions and not be receiving salaries from any other entity.In other virus-related sports developments: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULE-DIAMONDBACKS-PADRESTatis Jr., Grisham power Padres to 6-2 win vs. DiamondbacksSAN DIEGO (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. raced around the bases on a three-run triple that highlighted a five-run rally and Trent Grisham hit his first home run for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 Monday to take three of four games in their opening series. Update on the latest sports —Teoscar Hernández hit two of Toronto’s four solo homers off Aníbal Sánchez to account for all the Blue Jays’ scoring in a 4-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. Rowdy Tellez and Danny Jansen also went deep for the Blue Jays. Toronto was without two key players. Closer Ken Giles went on the injured list Monday, and shortstop Bo Bichette was scratched from the lineup about 15 minutes before the first pitch with a tight left hamstring. Toronto improved to 2-2 and dropped the reigning World Series champions to 1-3. Washington got 11 hits but left 10 runners on base.—Hunter Renfroe homered twice and Tampa Bay pitchers set a team nine-inning record with 19 strikeouts in the Rays’ 14-5 romp over the Atlanta Braves. Tyler Glasnow struck out nine and allowed one hit over four innings in first start after missing part of summer camp with the Rays after testing positive for the coronavirus.— Anthony Rizzo homered for the third time, and the Chicago Cubs held on for an 8-7 victory over a Cincinnati Reds team coping with coronavirus uncertainty. Jeremy Jeffress escaped a bases-loaded threat in the ninth for his first save with the Cubs. Wade Miley failed to make it through the second inning of his Reds debut. Rizzo scored three times as the Cubs won for the third time in four games. The Reds dropped to 1-3, a disappointing start after their $165 million offseason makeover.— Tyler Chatwood pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Willson Contreras homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-1 to take two of three in their opening series. Chatwood gave the Cubs just the sort of outing they were looking for after working mostly out of the bullpen last season. He struck out eight and walked two in an impressive start for a pitcher who struggled with his control his first two years in Chicago. Contreras smacked an RBI double in the Cubs’ four-run fourth and a long solo homer in the seventh. MARLINS-VIRUS — The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor says there are simply too many factors that prohibit the conference from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere. A decision on whether fall sports competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the conference presidents at a later date. — The NASCAR weekend in late August at Dover International Speedway will take place without fans. Delaware state officials denied the track’s request to host a limited number of fans Aug. 21-23 in the interest of public health and safety. The track is to host a NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.— The U.S. Tennis Association has canceled two lower-tier tennis tournaments in Orlando, Florida, saying that the coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous to hold the events without a bubble setup. The USTA says ATP Challenger 150 tourneys that were supposed to start on Aug. 22 and Aug. 29 at its national campus are being scrapped.COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERYEx-UCLA coach pleads guilty to accepting $200K in bribes UNDATED (AP) — A former University of California, Los Angeles men’s soccer coach pleaded guilty Monday to accepting $200,000 in bribes to help two students get into the school as recruits. Jorge Salcedo, 47, admitted to participating in the college admissions bribery scheme involving TV celebrities, other wealthy parents and elite universities across the country. Salcedo was paid $100,000 to help California couple Bruce and Davina Isackson get their daughter into UCLA as a bogus soccer recruit, prosecutors said. The Isacksons have also pleaded guilty and have been cooperating with authorities in the hope of getting a lighter sentence.DANA STUBBLEFIELD-RAPE CONVICTIONEx-49er Dana Stubblefield convicted of raping disabled womanSAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield has been convicted of the rape of a developmentally disabled woman. Prosecutors said he lured the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job. July 28, 2020 In other MLB news:—The series opener between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians has been postponed by rain. The teams will make up the game as part of a traditional doubleheader on Tuesday, starting at 3:40 p.m. Before the game was postponed, the White Sox announced that manager Rick Renteria will be kept away from the team pending the results of medical tests. — Two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (KLOO’-bur) could be done for the season. He is headed to the injured list after just one inning in his debut as a Texas Rangers starter. Kluber has a tear in a small muscle in his right shoulder and is not expected to make another start this season — if he pitches at all. — Utility player Josh Harrison has signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals less than a week after he was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals added the 33-year-old Harrison to their 30-man active roster Monday. To make room, catcher Raudy Read was optioned to Washington’s alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. —The Colorado Rockies say left-handed pitcher Tim Collins has opted out of the 2020 season. Collins is the second player in the organization who has withdrawn. In late June, Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced he wouldn’t play this season, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Padres, who feel they’re built for success in this pandemic-shortened 60-game season, outscored the Diamondbacks 21-9 in the four games. San Diego hasn’t been to the playoffs since winning consecutive NL West titles in 2005-06. It hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.In other Monday night action:— Alex Bregman hit his 100th career homer, a three-run shot, and Jose Altuve added a solo drive to give the Houston Astros an 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. The Astros trailed by two in the third inning before Bregman’s first home run of the season put them ahead 4-3. Altuve, who had two RBIs, connected in the fifth for the first of three runs to pad the lead and help the Astros take three of four in the series from their AL West foes. — Maikel Franco hit two of Kansas City’s six home runs, and the Royals pounded the Tigers 14-6, spoiling Detroit’s fan-free home opener. Whit Merrifield had three hits and three RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle on a night when the Royals rallied from an early 5-1 deficit. —Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith all homered, Michael Wacha pitched well over five innings and the New York Mets beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4. Red Sox opener Josh Osich escaped trouble in the first thanks to two Mets baserunning mistakes but gave up a two-run shot to Conforto in the second that cleared both the usual visitor’s bullpen and the auxiliary tent behind it. Associated Press VIRUS OUTBREAK-NHLNHL reports zero positivesUNDATED (AP) — The National Hockey League reported zero players tested positive for the coronavirus last week.The league says it administered a total of 4,256 tests to more than 800 players from July 18-25. Two players tested positive during the first week of training camps July 13-17.Players and staff from the 24 teams participating in the expanded Stanley Cup playoffs traveled to the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday. They’re now in a quarantined bubble and will be tested daily after every other day testing during camp. VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL-GOODELL LETTERGoodell sends letter to NFL fans explaining plans for seasonNEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to fans outlining the league’s plans to play during the coronavirus pandemic.As veterans begin reporting to training camps this week, Goodell noted Monday how COVID-19 has “turned the world upside down.”He wrote that “COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge to nearly every area of American life. Football is no exception,” — Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, say they’re donating $5 million toward a partnership with a Louisiana health care provider to build “numerous” health centers in economically struggling communities around the state. Brees said in his announcement on social media that the first center will be built later this year in eastern New Orleans in partnership with Ochsner Health. — The Buffalo Bills have released receiver Ray-Ray McCloud and offensive lineman Garrett McGhin a day before players were set to report for the start of training camp. The moves on Monday trim Buffalo’s roster to 86, with teams required to have a maximum 80 players by Aug. 16. —Washington has put quarterback Alex Smith on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp. Smith’s right leg has recovered 20 months after he broke the fibula and tibia in it during a game. But the 36-year-old veteran hasn’t been fully cleared for practices and full football activity. — The Tennessee Titans now have only their first-round draft pick left unsigned after agreeing to terms with cornerback Kristian Fulton. The Titans announced the deal with their second-round selection Monday night. The No. 61 pick overall, Fulton started two seasons at LSU and helped the Tigers win a national title last season. . That leaves only offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, the No. 29 pick overall, left unsigned out of Tennessee’s six-man draft class. IRVING-WNBA SALARIES A jury on Monday found the 49-year-old guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment. Jurors also found that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault. Stubblefield could face 15 years to life in prison. His lawyers say there was no rape and the woman consented to sex. They plan to seek a new trial. Stubblefield was a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.