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Trump Will Give Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz

Trump Will Give Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz

First it was Rush Limbaugh, just before the State of the Union. Now it looks as if former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz will also receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Trump made the surprise announcement during a Friday press conference where Holtz was in attendance.

Trump is skilled at deflected from controversy by creating a distraction, and today’s announcement amid his controversial comments regarding the American military might just be an attempt at diversion.


It’s unclear why Trump specifically selected Holtz, other than his speech at the Republican National Convention where he praised Trump and claimed Democratic nominee Joe Biden to be a “Catholic in name only” despite significant evidence of the former vice president’s faith. The speech was controversial enough that the president of Notre Dame released a statement a day later distancing the school from Holtz and chastising its former coach for questioning another person’s faith.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States to recognize people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”. For example, John Lewis was awarded the President Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 15: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) is presented with the 2010 Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama during an East Room event at the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Trump quantified his nomination of Holtz, saying, “Incredible leader, Lou Holtz. I’ve known him for a long time, he’s been a friend of mine. I think I’ve received letters from every football coach, almost, in the nation. That’s a little exaggeration, but some of the greats. Nick Saban wrote a letter, Coach O … and Urban Meyer wrote a beautiful letter. So many of the other great, legendary coaches. Not only coaches, people in sports and people in life. Even great political people recommending Lou for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We’ve analyzed it very closely. We’ve look at all of those recommendations. We’ve looked at Lou’s life and his career, what he’s done for charity. The football is obvious, he was a great coach, but what he’s done beyond even coaching.”

Other sports figures have also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump’s term, including Roger Staubach, Tiger Woods, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Mariano Rivera, Roger Penske, and Jim Ryun.

Twitter wasn’t thrilled with the announcement, to put it mildly.

No date has been announced for the medal ceremony, although Trump said it would be “soon”.

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