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."