Chet Lacheta was an 18-year-old offensive lineman out of Illinois living the dream in his first year at the University of Notre Dame in 1990. At spring training, he got thrown in to play against the starting team. A huge opportunity but, still recovering from recent injury and illness, he found the scrimmage to be tough going. Afterwards, Lou Holtz, the iconic coach who had led the college to a national title just two years earlier, offered him an assessment of his performance.
“He called me a coward and he said I shouldn’t bother to come back to school in the fall [autumn],” said Lacheta. “He grabbed my facemask and then he purposely spit at me. The other players knew what happened.”