SOUTH BEND, Ind., April 1 (UPI) -- Green Bay Packers great Paul Hornung has apologized for suggesting his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, lower academic standards to recruit blacks.
Hornung won the 1956 Heisman trophy as the school's "Golden Boy" running back and has broadcast Notre Dame football games for years.
During an interview on a Detroit radio station he said Notre Dame needs more black athletes and suggested the university "ease it up a little bit on academic standards" to compete for top black athletes.
Hornung's comments produced a firestorm of criticism and Notre Dame issued a statement calling the comments "insensitive" and "insulting." Hornung said he regrets making them.
Former Packer Willie Davis, who played with Hornung, told the Chicago Tribune Hornung is not a racist. Ex-Notre Dame teammates say Horning once took a black athlete back to a South Bend restaurant to demand an apology after the owner had discriminated against his friend.