Kerry Temple | November 6, 2014
At lunch that day we mainly talked sports — Wil Haygood and me and South Bend’s long-time political writer Jack Colwell and Professor Bob Schmuhl who runs Notre Dame’s journalism program.
We were at Rohr’s, at a table “out of the line of fire,” as Haygood had requested, so we could talk. And he was asking about Everett Golson and about the Irish football players suspended for academic violations and about the role of football at the University, its benefits and its risks.
And so we talked on about the corruption of intercollegiate athletics at other places. Haygood knew the scandals, the guilty parties, the coaches on whose watch improprieties had occurred. He’s a sports fan.
In high school, Haygood got up at 4:30 a.m. and rode two city buses from the Bolivar Arms housing project in Columbus, Ohio, to a predominantly white school in the suburbs so he could play basketball — because he had been cut from his local school’s team. This journey, I would come to realize, was but an early sign of the ambition and persistence that characterized the career of this very accomplished — and tall — writer.