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Swarbrick talks buyout and coaching status

Nov 16, 2009, 11:00 AM EDT

Credit Matt Hayes of The Sporting News for getting to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. Hayes was able to get a rare comment out of the man sharing the spotlight under the Golden Dome with besieged head coach Charlie Weis.

When Hayes asked Swarbrick if economics would play a factor into the decision to retain or fire Weis, Swarbrick responded with a firm, “No.”

Hayes also put the much speculated buyout of Weis’ contract at $18 million for the six years remaining. He also said the university is on the hook for another $1 million for contract guarantees to Weis’ assistant coaches.

Swarbrick also addressed Weis’ status, and said that any decision won’t be made until after the season.

“I evaluate programs at the end of the season,” Swarbrick said. “I don’t evaluate coaches, I evaluate programs.”

That’s a very interesting comment from Swarbrick. If you had to make a distinction, I’d say that Weis the coach is having a worse season than Weis the head of Notre Dame’s football program, and it makes me feel better that Swarbrick will be evaluating everything — the change in recruiting, the transition to a new scheme, the timing of the decision — before deciding on Charlie Weis’ fate.

Either way, as expected, Weis’ contract won’t have anything to do with the school’s decision on the head coach. What also won’t play a factor are past coaching decisions — the choice to fire Bob Davie after five seasons and Tyrone Willingham after three. What’s happened in the past has nothing to do with the current decision to fire or retain Weis. For those who enjoy making tidy comparisons to records or winning percentages, the decision is hardly as cut and dry as Ws and Ls. Swarbrick wasn’t at the helm for either of those decisions and I hope he doesn’t let the past dictate what should happen in the future.

149 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Irish NW - Nov 21, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    I used to be on the keep CW band wagon. The comebacks were exciting, but the reality I keep wondering is why the heck it took til the 4th quarter to score in all those games. Tate’s return td against Pitt wasn’t a coached event it was luck and talent. Red zone has been an issue as has been the penalties. All that is the coaching of the kids. Could it be as simple as a tempo change? Is that why we score in the 4th? Upbeat tempo on the play calling? All I know is that I don’t want another pro coach at ND. They deal with egos on their teams and forget about teaching that is needed at college.

  2. Debbie - Nov 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    If you want to talk about firing someone – how come Tom and Pat are not on the list. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of hearing these Notre Dame Football announcers get excited when the opposing team does anything good. Why can’t NBC bring in ND guys like Jerome B, Steve B or Joe T to call the games. If ND is going to have 7 home games each year – I have to MUTE my TV so that I don’t get sick. Let’s talk about getting rid of these guys. — Keep Weis — ND is young and he is getting good players.

  3. BigMike4562 - Nov 24, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Well buddy, other schools have recruiting issues also…Penn State is an expensive school, very high standards, graduates 92% of athletes and most stay for thier 5th year of eligibility. Now the difference with these teams, Florida, Alabama, Texas OSU, Penn State, Oregon…I can go on…they all play very good teams annually, not sub par teams or military schools ( evne though you cant even beat Navy at home). See, the program at South Bend has gone down hill, you dont play anyone other then USC and that’s an annual whopping, even when you dont mow the grass to slow them down. Your program needs a rebuild from top to bottom, schedule teams that will motivate your players and stop whinning about ND being the best, who they play doesnt put them in BCS categories..

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