“It was terrible,” Notre Dame’s Alohi Gilman says of his year at Naval Academy Prep School
Mike Berardino, IndyStar
Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman received an anonymous letter condemning his decision to transfer from the United States Naval Academy to South Bend.
Gilman posted a photo of the letter to his Snapchat. Fellow Kahuku High School graduate and current Lindenwood University rugby player Aisina Farley posted the photo to her Twitter account Wednesday.
The letter is dated Dec. 30, one day after the Fighting Irish lost 30-3 to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
“We must express utter contempt for you and your educational and career decisions over the past couple of year,” starts the letter signed by ‘six veterans and college football fans.’
The letter questions Gilman’s academic record, patriotism and decision to pursue an NFL career.
“You spit on the flag and transfer because you believe you can make the NFL quicker. Much more talented players than you received their commission, served their country, and went on to the NFL.”
Ahead of Notre Dame’s game against Navy, Gilman said his heart was not in military service.
“I wasn’t as passionate in the military,” Gilman told IndyStar’s Mike Berardino. “I have so much respect for the military. I learned so many things, but I wasn’t as passionate (about) fulfilling that service commitment. They changed the rule, so ultimately that tipped me over to transferring.”
A reversal of policy for the service academies in spring 2017 suddenly made it much harder for an NFL prospect such as Gilman to pursue his dream. Rather than receive a deferment of the five-year active-duty commitment while playing professionally, Gilman would have had to fulfill his military commitment first.
Gilman added that Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo did not support his decision to leave. But Gilman felt he could achieve his dream of playing in the NFL by transferring from the service academy.
Gilman started all 12 games for Notre Dame this season. He made 76 total tackles, three tackles for loss, three break-ups and two interceptions. Both interceptions came against No. 12 Syracuse.
Follow IndyStar sports producer Akeem Glaspie on Twitter at @THEAkeemGlaspie.