New York Post Sept. 25 2002
by Kate Sheehy Columbia President: Mea Culpa, Fordham Columbia University's president was in a "sorry" state yesterday over the anti-Catholic gibe his school's band gave Fordham at a weekend football game - but some religious leaders were still fuming. After Fordham President Father Joseph O'Hare and hundreds of the school's students complained about the incident - in which a band member announced over loudspeakers that Fordham's "tuition is going down like an altar boy" - Columbia President Lee Bollinger phoned O'Hare to apologize. "The remark made was insensitive and inappropriate, and the university is sincerely sorry for any pain it caused," Columbia spokeswoman Lauren Marshall said. The apology appeared to be enough to calm Fordham officials. "What the community was asking for was an apology, and the statement sounds like an apology to me," Fordham rep Elizabeth Schmalz said. But Catholic League President William Donahue said Columbia must deal with the students behind the skit - and the Barnard College dean who reportedly approved it. He said he planned to bring the matter up with Columbia's trustees. Band leaders remained unbowed. They even added a new line to a copy of the skit on their Web site yesterday, that said the speech "received the Catholic League seal of approval."