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Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the varsity sports teams of the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish participate in 23 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. The Fighting Irish participate in the NCAA's Division I in all sports, with many teams competing in the ACC. Notre Dame is one of only 15 universities in the United States that plays Division I FBS football and Division I men's ice hockey. The school colors are blue and gold and the mascot is the Leprechaun. Just exactly where the moniker "Fighting Irish" came from is a matter of much debate and legend. One possibility is that the nickname is inherited from Irish immigrant soldiers who fought in the Civil War with the Union's Irish Brigade. Notre Dame's claim to the nickname would seem to come from the presence of Fr. William Corby, CSC, the third president of Notre Dame, who was at the Battle of Gettysburg. Fr. Corby served as chaplain of the Irish Brigade and granted general absolution to the troops in the midst of the battle. This is commemorated in the painting "Absolution Under Fire," part of Notre Dame's permanent art collection. A print of the painting "The Original Fighting Irish" by former Fighting Irish lacrosse player Revere La Noue is on permanent display at Notre Dame's Arlotta Stadium. The print also hangs in the office of head Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, who said that he had to have the work which captures the "swagger" and "toughness" of the football program after seeing it online.
The athletes and teams at Notre Dame, now known as the Fighting Irish, were known by many different unofficial nicknames throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During the Knute Rockne football era, Notre Dame had several unofficial nicknames, among them the "Rovers" and the "Ramblers".