When a story is too good to be true, beware . . .

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I’m something of a sap for youthful motivational stories, and the story of how Rudy Ruettiger overcame incredible odds for his 27 seconds of fame in a Notre Dame University football game almost brought tears to my eyes. He has a website these days promoting himself as a motivational speaker, and you can see at a couple of YouTube video presentations describing his success.

While Ruettiger is a few years older than me — he went to work and served in the navy before starting his university education dream before graduating in 1976 (my year) — his story still rings close to my heart, as I overcame serious personality limitations to find my way in journalism and, about six years from the start of my time on the university’s student newspaper, achieve the goal of excelling as a foreign correspondent in
Africa.

His message, like most motivational speakers:  If you really strive to your goals and never give up on your values, you’ll succeed.  In Rudy’s case, he really didn’t have the physical structure to be a high level college football player, but he could fight his way onto the practice/roster squad, win the respect of his teammates, and be given the chance to play on the team’s final home game before graduation, in the last seconds, when there was no risk to the team (because Notre Dame was far in the lead.)

That’s okay, I get the message. But less clear is this Wikipedia reference:

SEC investigation

In 2011, Ruettiger was charged with security fraud by the SEC, for participating in a pump-and-dump scheme. A settlement of the case required Ruettiger to pay $382,866 in fines.[13]

What is this?  A note in the “talk” section provides a more serious underpinning to the SEC story:

Rudy in business[edit]

Does anyone follow Rudy and his business practices? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Art2gecko (talk • contribs) 19:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I follow the business practices and am very disappointed. I am very new to this and started the current projects section. Will someone help me with adding “Rudy’s” business failures that have resulted into hundreds of millions of dollars in stock losses for investors? He has had 3 different stock symbols and is about to do it again. I feel we need to help warn the public. contribs)

Regardless of whatever alleged losses or harm may be out there, the Web site currently listed as the primary source for the business section specifically claims to present one investor’s perspective. The section is also poorly written, does not incorporate reference links well, and could use a more balanced perspective. Perhaps those who have concerns about Ruettiger’s business practices could find articles from peer-edited sources to provide a more balanced perspective. I have no opinion either way, and I’ll be glad to attempt to do this when time permits. H v fisher (talk) 07:32, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Clearly someone wants to hide what happened from 1977 to 2007. Tigah Dude (talk) 12:52, 14 March 2013

Of course there are inconsistencies everywhere, and anyone who holds themselves on a pedestal may find that it doesn’t take too much to fail and be knocked off the top. It’s still a great story.

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