NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Jerome Bettis gets Notre Dame degree

SOUTH BEND – Jerome Bettis has one more special Notre Dame Stadium moment left in him.

Perhaps the most special.

The current Notre Dame student and Pro Football Hall of Famer will walk across the graduation stage Sunday morning and receive his diploma 28 years after leaving school to pursue his NFL dream.

Bettis, 50, was back in South Bend this past semester completing his degree requirements for the Mendoza School of Business. He also fulfilled a promise to his mother.

“I promised her years ago, sitting in Coach (Lou) Holtz’s office, that I would come back and graduate,” Bettis said on the Pod of Gold podcast last month. “So, I owe that to her as well.”

After a spectacular three years in the Irish backfield – most notably with quarterback Rick Mirer and tailback Reggie Brooks – Holtz and Bettis agreed that it was time for him to head to the NFL.

After a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers, his promise remained, as did the example Bettis wanted to set for his own children who are both in high school.

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