Associated Press story       Sept. 25 2002

Being an article on the AP, this has been published in newspapers all over the country, from San Diego to ESPN.com. Just thought you should know. --ed.

Columbia President Apologizes for
Anti-Catholic Remarks over Football Game

NEW YORK (AP) _ The president of Columbia University has apologized for a
remark during a football game that Fordham students criticized as
anti-Catholic.

Lee Bollinger called his counterpart at Fordham, the Rev. Joseph O'Hare,
on Tuesday to express regret for the remarks.

The comment, broadcast over a public address system by a marching band
announcer at halftime, alluded to the priest sex scandal and involved a
double entendre about altar boys.

Students at Fordham, a Catholic university, circulated a petition
demanding an apology after Saturday's game. The Catholic League sharply
condemned the comment, as did Columbia's Roman Catholic chaplain, who
wrote a letter of protest Tuesday to the university's administrators.

The marching band said the comment was intended as a joke and denied
charges of bigotry. The student who wrote the script, Andy Hao, said he
would not apologize.

``You should blame the priests that molest kids and degrade the name of
the church rather than blaming some college kid who wrote a football
script,'' Hao told The New York Times.