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Frazer's return highlights recruiting's challenges

Nov 18, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT

Zach Frazer will walk onto the field at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday and start at quarterback, fulfilling a dream he had when he became the first high profile recruiting commitment of the Charlie Weis era.

That the dream is coming true isn’t a testament to Frazer’s patience, but merely a coincidence that Notre Dame is playing Connecticut, where Frazer transferred after his freshman season. UConn will play Notre Dame for the first time in either schools’ history.

Frazier came to Notre Dame as the hand-picked quarterback of Weis and then quarterbacks coach David Cutcliffe, the man responsible for grooming the Manning brothers. When asked to look back on Zach’s recruitment yesterday, Weis still remembered plenty.

“Zach was interesting. You know, his junior year he was surrounded by a bunch of front line players and a lot
of weapons,” Weis said. “They were really, really
good his junior year. Then they lost a lot of players going
into his senior year, and he was kind of a one-man gang. He came here and was a good player for
us. We went through a spring where things didn’t
work out in the depth chart for him, and he decided it would be in his
best interest to try to find another opportunity. It was a very cordial way he handled it. I’m glad to see him playing. I just hope he doesn’t play very well this week.”

Frazier’s wayward road was a common theme Charlie Weis’ much heralded 2006 recruiting class. Twenty-eight players gave their commitment to Notre Dame, headlined by Sam Young, James Aldridge, Matt Carufel, Demetrius Jones, Konrad Rueland and Frazer. The fact that of those blue-chip recruits only Young has turned into a front-line player shows the difficulties that come with projecting a recruiting class.

Jones, Carufel, Reuland, Richard Jackson, Munir Prince, Luke Schmidt, Bartley Webb, Jashaad Gaines, Will Yeatman, every one of those recruits came to Notre Dame and left without their promise fulfilled. For Schmidt and Webb, injuries derailed them. For Yeatman, a much-publicized fall out with a rigid Student Affairs office got in the way of a promising two-sport career. For others attrition came from transfers for various reasons.

Of the vaunted 28-member class, let’s take a look at the contributions they’ve made, working down from one to twenty-eight.

1) Sam Young: Even if he has yet to become the player many hoped, he started every game he suited up for in his Notre Dame career. I don’t think many other offensive tackles can say that.

2) Eric Olsen: Heart and soul of offensive line. Would’ve been great to let him redshirt.

3) Robby Parris: Turned into the lone offensive weapon out of this recruiting class.

4) Chris Stewart: Transformed his body to be solid contributor on offensive line. Catalyst for recruiting class as high schooler.

5) Darrin Walls: Career hasn’t been what many hoped, but still has a year left to fulfill his promise.

6) Sergio Brown: Sometimes you notice him for the wrong reasons (tackling against Pitt), but he’s one of the only play-makers on the defense.

7) Dan Wenger: Took one for the team this year while providing depth along the line. Helped start the Aquinas pipeline with Young.

8) Raeshon McNeil: A forgotten man that still ranked 11th in school history in passes broken up heading into this season.

9) John Ryan: Looked lost early in his career, but has become a nice role player at defensive end.

10) James Aldridge: A high school knee injury never let us see the five-star recruit that signed with the Irish. A valuable contributor at fullback/halfback when not injured.

11) Toryan Smith: Notre Dame’s best run-stuffing linebacker lost his job with the emergence of Manti Te’o. (Would’ve been valuable against Navy…)

12) Paddy Mullen: Recruited as a tight end, has become nice presence as goal-line nose tackle.

13) Barry Gallup: Found his niche as special teams ace/kick returner.

14) George West: Never broke through as a offensive threat, but deserves kudos as one of the school’s first early enrollees.

15) Leonard Gordon: Hybrid corner/safety that also contributes on special teams.

16) Morrice Richardson: Promising edge rusher that loss reps with the emergence of Kapron Lewis-Moore.

17) Kallen Wade: Ditto.

18) Zach Frazer: Now the starting quarterback at UConn. Can’t blame him after coming out third in the 2007 quarterback derby behind Demetrius Jones and Jimmy Clausen.

19) Luke Schmidt: Promising H-back robbed of career from lingering concussion and injury issues.

20) Will Yeatman: Two-sport threat probably won’t be donating to university after getting mistreated by Student Affairs. Transferred to Maryland to play football and lacrosse.

21) Bartley Webb: Tackle prospect lost to a career ending shoulder injury.

22) Munir Prince: Running back/cornerback transferred to Missouri after getting passed in depth chart.

23) Richard Jackson: Seldom used receiver transferred to UCF. No longer on the roster.

24) Jashaad Gaines: Seldom used safety now plays linebacker for Texas Southern.

25) Konrad Reuland: Former blue-chip recruit struggled to break through at Notre Dame and transferred to Stanford. Has five catches this season for the Cardinal.

26) Ryan Burkhart: Hometown product still on scholarship, one of four kickers on the Irish roster.

27) Matt Carufel: Promising offensive guard that transferred home to Minnesota after losing his starting job to Eric Olsen.

28) Demetrius Jones: Former team leader walked out on team after losing his starting job after one game in 2007 to Jimmy Clausen. Nearly enrolled at Northern Illinois before heading to Cincinatti, where he now plays linebacker.

It’s pretty easy to see why this Fighting Irish squad is still struggling with veteran productivity, because this class was almost a complete punt. Even it’s best player failed to live up to his potential, and guys like Robby Parris — good glue guys — shouldn’t be the top skill contributor of the group.

You can’t blame Weis for some of the injuries and attrition that took place, but if you actually go back and look at other top recruiting classes (scroll through USC’s one day), you’ll see that this kind of thing is pretty normal.

Looking at this class today, there isn’t a great defensive player on the list. Walls has the potential to be a good cornerback, but there isn’t a starting caliber front-seven player in the group, which is as good of evidence as you’d want to why this defense is struggling.

  1. grandspashyena - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    Does robertg ever sleep? Amazing amount of information in the stream. Nice to see unconditional love and what seems a firm grasp of many issues around college football. It seeems that Notre Dame’s greatest rivals for recruits are USC, Alabama, and a few other places that truely recruit nationally. Places like LSU, UT, BYU, and a few other recruit locally and if they lose a few quality recruits to the national recruiters, so what, there is still a lot of talent. ND seems to have done an overall good job of recruiting over the past few years, but as some have pointed out, prospect does not directly translate to a high performing college player. I think that Weis needs to stay and work through this cycle until the pipeline bears fruit. It really doesn’t hurt anything but a little bragging rights to let the man push along his program. I’m no huge ND fan but I always know that they put out good teams with real student athletes and I don’t remember reading a lot of negative stuff about them. That’s what’s important. Just about college coach can build a winner, just ask old Switzer. It’s just hard to do it and do it right.

  2. bibs - Nov 19, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    The problem with canning Weis is finding someone to replace him. Weis was a fallback hire and I always thought Weis must not be good head coaching material since hot NFL OCs (he gets alot of credit for Tom Brady) usually get a bite for head coaching jobs and Weis was never in the mix in the NFL. The big reputation he has helped recruiting, but if recruiting was all it took Ron Zook would be wining titles.
    Weis has had 5 years and he’s ok, but not great and nver will be.

  3. mrrandolph - Nov 19, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    If you want to retain CW recruits but get rid of him, give him his walking papers the morning after National Signing Day.

  4. StephenOfTroy - Nov 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM

    Dennis and Ryan-S, you both make good points about Willingham / Weis. Thanks for taking the time. And Ryan, I’d have to say I agree with the vast majority of what you wrote about ND’s offense and mindset (what kind of nonsense is it to think being DOWN seven points on the road is “a good position?” What ever happened to “play like a Champion?” THIS is what gets you down 20 points in the 4th quarter, folks!)
    But to both of you, as to the Ty-was-terrible thing, let’s look at it in more detail. Year 1, Weis comes in, he has Ty’s juniors and seniors. Goes 9-3. Year 2, with Ty’s seniors, goes 10-3. Year 3, he has Ty’s underclassmen, goes 3-9. But didn’t he evaluate their talent in the prior two years? If HE thought they sucked, shouldn’t he have found someone else? Matt Barkley is a true freshman playing at QB for USC. And you have a pretty decent frosh at LB at ND.
    Don’t tell me you can’t find any good players in TWO full years. Well, you can tell me that YOU can’t; neither can I, but Weis should be able to; it’s part of his job description, right? I’d have to say that if Weis really thought he didn’t have good enough talent, he should have been developing people all along for the day when Brady left for the Browns.
    But that brings us back to one of Weis’s biggest problems; he cannot develop the talent he recruits, and he cannot motivate his players. They underperform their (reputed) ability. And being content with being down 10-3 is a pretty good answer as to why.
    Oh, and robertg, WOW. Them’s a lot of words. What ever happened to that nonsense you wrote about how you and your associates were devoting all your efforts full time to bringing down the crooked college sports system? More hot air, it seems. I’ll give you credit for one thing. You really never quit. Weis is always rattling on, after a loss, about how his players didn’t quit. So you should be proud. You’re just what Weis wants. A guy who doesn’t win, but boy does he keep losing!

  5. alan - Nov 19, 2009 at 10:34 PM

    D.Jones did not walk out on ND Charlie walked on him. Found out he would not start after a teammate heard it at Charlie’s Tuesday press conference leading into the Michigan game. Tell it right Mr. Arnold.

  6. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 12:40 AM

    1.fact, navy recruits fine student athletes whose names never get in the recruiting rankings because none of them bother to send any information to any of the rankings services.
    2. fact, navy and its coaches and student athletes knowing and willfully cheated to get those 2 phony wins over notre dame by using illegal chop blocks, knowing in advance that dishonest officiating crews would not call 90% of those penalties and intending to injure notre dame student athletes and succeeding in a number of cases.
    3. fact, the naval academy will forfeit both of those phony wins and the navy coaches involved will be fired and the navy student athletes will be dismissed from the naval academy with no degrees and no futures.
    4.fact, did anyone connected with the naval academy pay off the dishonest officials at these game? no.
    5.fact, those payments were made by persons and entities affilated with crooked college sports enterprises who correctly view notre dame, charlie weis and his staff and notre dame’s real student athletes and us as the last real threats to their control of college football and college sports.
    6 fact, will there be any persons or entities involved with crooked college sports enterprises back next season or in future season? no. the enron and mci worldom con artists also thought that they were untouchable and that they could run thos con operations.
    7. facts and matters of public record in the courts and online for a fee at our civil rico complaints and all other pleadings, court orders, and judgments in those cases, with the exception of the many out of court settlements with those who wisely chose to fess up, provide evidence and tell the truth and settle out of court not being matters of public record, except for the amounts paid to settle.
    8.fact, we have more evidence and requests for out of court settlements pouring in every single day, including some from navy student athletes.
    9.fact, these are the same patterns that we saw in the enron and mci worldcom civil rico cases.
    10. fact, there are a number of persons and entities whose actions have been so outrageous that we will not settle with them out of court for any amounts whatsover.
    11. fact, every one of these persons and entities are heaedc for very public civil rico jury trials all over the us.
    12. fact, i personnally will not be a plaintiff or attorney at any of those civil rico jury trials.
    13.fact, any dishonest officials who dare to engage in dishonest officiating at the notre dame/uconn or notre dame stanford game will be added to our list of people with whom we will not settle out of court under any circumstances.
    14.fact, after being robbed of 4 wins already this season by dishonest officiating crews and been the targets of deliberate attempts to inflict severe injuries on them(as just one of very many examples, jimmy clausen’s turf toe injury was intentionally inflicted by 2 michigan state players after the play was over and jimmy’s knee was down, delany’s dishonest big 10 officiating crew did not even call a penalty) by so many players on opposing teams, is it possible that some notre dame student athletes who also play football may, at some subconscous levels, have had part of their fighting irish spirits reduced? yes. after all, they are fine and courageous notre dame student athletes. however, they are still human beings and very young human beings who have grown very tired of jack swarbrick’s delays in making public the decisions which have already been made of notre dame’s complete support for charlie and his staff and for notre dame’s student athletes and notre dame’s outrage at the current corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems and demands for immediate change.
    15.fact, jack swarbrick is a fine intelligent man who really loves notre dame. however, in the areas of college football recruiting and dishonest officiating, jack is a green rookie, although we are informed that he is currently getting crash courses in those areas by the people at notre dame who have already made the required decisions.
    GO IRISH!!!

  7. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    1.fact, putting every person and entity involved in crooked college sports enterprises out of business does have our full attentions.
    2.fact,protecting those fine and honest persons and entities still involved in college football and college sports is an integral part of that process.after all, in the case of college football and college sports, as was not the case with enron and mci worldcom, rebuilding after destroying is essential to this project.
    3.fact, out hot air became so hot for ken lay of enron that ken lay ended up committing suicide.
    4.fact,we are adamantly opposed to paying the room and board of anyone in any federal prison and to suicides.
    5.fact, we strip con artists of their material possesions with our public civil rico jury trials, after allowing time for the settlement processes, and we then enjoy observing them trying to make honest livings.
    5. fact, some people actually learn their lessons and become valuable members of society.
    6. fact. some others never do.
    GO IRISH!!!

  8. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 4:40 AM

    1.our relatives in ireland got robbed of a win over france in what the rest of the world calls football, but which we call soccer, a win which should have sent ireland on to the next round of the world cup.
    2. the illegal goal awarded to france at the end of the game was scored after a french player, not the goalkeeper, touched the bal 2 times with his hands.
    3. articles and videos have shown up all over the internet, including at cnn and bbc and at many irish media sites.
    4. just as the dishonest officiating during notre dame’s 2009 football games is obvious to anyone who has read the rules and had experts break down the game films, as we have, the hand assisted goal by a french player is just as obvious.
    5. the reaction of the irish government has been publicly to demand a rematch at the very least from fifa, the world soccer equivalent of the ncaa and the conferences and the bcs.
    6. the initial reaction of fifa has ben no way. however, soccer fans in ireland and in france and all over the world are simply not accepting fifa reaction or the operation of fifa in its current format.
    7. we have given our relatives in ireland and in france some technical assistance, both in the use of our zoom in and other features in equipment that our experts use to break down game films and in the form of the tiny high tech cameras and sensors which we have developed and tested to bring offiating into the 21st century and to elimate the role of dishonest and imperfect human officials.
    8. in the legal arena, our relatives in ireland and around the world, in nations in which soccer is the big sport, will make certain that the corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, and other fifa scams are simply not around next year and the very person and entity involved in the fifa con operations gets the econmic punishment in the courts that they deserve.
    9. as irish minister of jutice put it, with millions of people, including young people all over the world watching this atrocity, the lesson so far deliverd by fifa is “You can cheat if the officials do not call the cheating”.
    10. just as the integrity of college football and college sports are at issue in the united states, the integrity of soccer is at issue worldwide.
    11. like us with the current corupt officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems run the by confrence, the ncaa, the bcs, and certain schools that cheat, our relatives and friends in ireland and around the world where soccer is king are not going to let this issue be buried by some con artists at fifa.
    12. the presence of the internet and high tech systems has given the con artists who have profited for decades from crooked sports enterprises nowhere to hide and nowhere to run, along with zero economic futures.
    13. we have passed this information along to jach swarbrick at notre dame through people that he speaks with every day that he should make the required public announcement immediately before the lives of more young recruits are ruined by his delays, as they were in the 2009 recruiting cycle.
    GO IRISH!!!

  9. mrrandolph - Nov 20, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    I don’t know how many people read the rantings of Robertg. But, it needs to be known that in the infancy of the popularity of college football in the 1920’s. When Rockne grew and cultivated the legend and mythology of Notre Dame football not only did many college players also play professional football on Sunday under different names but game officials were selected by the home team and the officials were often sportwriters from your influential newspapers.

  10. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    1.the vast majority of the rest of us are now living in the high tech 21st century, in which the worldwide internet and high tech make it impossible for the cheaters to hide or to continue to run their con operations.
    2. if you think that your information about the rockne era is something that real judges at real jury trials are going to find relevant to 21st century crooked sports enterprises, then you are welcome to come to those public trials and attempt to get yourself on the witness stands.we will be posting information about the dates and locations right here at nd central.
    3. if you are just determined to be ignorant, then so be it.
    4. if you are trying to protect the operations of crooked sports enterprtises, then we will probably see you in the civil courts as a defendant.
    5. judges and juries in the enron and mci worldcom civil rico cases have already dealt with your rantings defense with a lot of laughter. if you bother to check the public records online, you will find out what happened in the civil courts to the con artists who used to run the enron and mci worldcom con operations. if you refuse to look at the references which we provide, we certainly cannot force you to do so.
    6. we post the information that we do to give honest people opportunities to check out the facts for themselves and many have, including quite a few people connected with crooked college sports enterprises who have fessed up, told the truth, and settled out of court, the same processes which occurred before we filed and served our very serious civil rico complaints on those who thought that they were untouchable.
    7. if you are determined to live in the rockne era, then we hope that you are happy there.
    8. if you are trying to bring back the bad aspects of the rockne era. give it your best shot.
    GO IRISH!!!

  11. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    1. per the article of ap reporter teresa m. walker”Memphis won’t release NCAA vacated win response” which currently appears on the right side of the yahoo sports college football section online. 2.after complying with every prior ap request for documents under the tennessee open records laws, memphis refused to release the ncaa reply to its 45 page appeal brief which was already released claiming that memphis had only a read only online copy of that ncaa document, the very same position on which we defeated the ncaa in the florida courts, along with the ap and masny other allies.
    3. apparently, the ncaa wants to test the court waters again and lose.
    4. we will be happy to oblige them whenever and wherever they and their allies try their coverups.
    5. obviously, these documents and the court documents that follow are available from the ap, although the ap may charge a fee for the copies.
    GO IRISH!!!

  12. tj - Nov 20, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    robertg: i don’t know what conspiracy theorists’ stone you turned, but boy do you have a lot of hate for college football. how can you have all these coverup theories (my personal favorite is eric hansen of the south bend tribune being on pete carroll’s payroll)? you obviously have lots of time on your hands to do all this research. I will tell you, though, that I grew up in south bend, attended ND in the 70’s, still live in south bend and have been an Irish fan my entire life. To ease your conspiracy fears, I will attempt to tell you the problems with the football program are only of ND’s own volition. It was their change from the 5 academic exception rule during Lou’s tenure (as a response to the
    Randy Moss fiasco) that put them in the recruiting ‘excuse’ all coaches, including Lou, have used until Charlie. Also, in all the years I can remember, NEVER has the SB Tribune ever SUGGESTED ND to dismiss the coach (including Mr. Hansen….he has only asked what the status is)….UNTIL now, that is. In this week’s paper, a fellow Tribune columnist said ND MUST make the change now. I’m sure you will find this columnist’s name to be on Pete’s payroll.
    Trying to be fair to all parties involved, I, as a life-long Irish
    fan, believe while CW has opened the eyes of ND’s board (re: early
    enrollment) and has improved dramatically ND’s presence in the recruiting environment, the bottom line is he has NOT coached his players up to their abilities, save for a select few (all on the offense, primarily the skilled players…Quinn, Claussen, Tate, Floyd, etc) and it has taken him 3 years to get them where they are now, unlike GOOD college coaches who get them skilled almost immediately. Finally, my question to you, robertg, is are you a big fan of the movie ‘Conspiracy Theory’?

  13. bibs - Nov 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    robertg – can you help clear up the Kennedy assassination for me?

  14. mrrandolph - Nov 20, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Robertg: I am just a simple man who believes when you get beat you just shake the other man’s hand and say good game.

  15. John E. Orr - Nov 20, 2009 at 12:42 PM


  16. Art Vandelay - Nov 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    I told you that you were feeding right into robertg’s psychosis with your recent article touching upon questionable officiating. I count 117 numbered paragraphs above by robertg. He’s probably adding more as I type this. I have the mental picture of a real Rupert Pupkin scenario with robertg occasionally yelling “Shut up, Ma,” in between rapid fire bursts of keyboard play. Tragic.
    I also have a theory that you are coming on to this site under the pseudonym StephenofTroy in order to push all the domers buttons, thereby increasing the posts following your articles. Come to think of it, nobody has ever seen you and StephenofTroy together, right? Also, he is praising your journalistic skill so that’s the dead giveaway that it must be you.

  17. StephenOfTroy - Nov 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Art, come on! You ND fans and your conspiracy theories. I am not Keith Arnold. He is not me. (Elaine to Peterman: “I’M Susie! She’s ME!” Peterman to Elaine: “I feel the SAME way!”)
    I praised Mr. Arnold’s skills, but not in an over-the-top way. And think about it, if I was really Keith Arnold, I wouldn’t be quite so sarcastic in returning the insults I receive, nor would I slam NBC and MSNBC the way I do. It would be biting the hand that feeds me, both as to readership and as to the company that pays my salary.
    As it is, I’m just a USC alum named Stephen who likes the Trojans and the Irish.
    But you get credit for the “Shut up, Ma” bit. It fits robertg perfectly. That man has even more free time than I do, and I’m a lazy, lazy, man, Art.

  18. Keith Arnold - Nov 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Art! How dare you, sir! Where to start…
    First you skip last Saturday’s live-blog and now you try and say I’m going all multiple personality, and of all people StephenOfTroy? Just because I live in the midst of Trojan Territory doesn’t make me one of them. The best part of last Saturday was watching all the sad faces roll back into Manhattan Beach after the Trojans took 55 on the chin to Harbaugh and Co.
    And Stephen — am I really sarcastic toward NBC and MSNBC? I’ve tried to be on my best behavior this season, and with my skillset, I can’t afford to be biting any hands that feed me, otherwise I’ll be forced to join RobertG’s RICO investigation as a non-paying intern. But thank you for the compliments. As for our famous commenter — I don’t think he’s a “MA! Meatloaf!” type, I’m starting to think there’s a mad genius in there.
    Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  19. robertg - Nov 20, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    1. actually, i work longer hours than anyone else i know and more than most people who know me think is humanly possible.
    2. posting on the internet is just a public service for real notre dame fans who have a real desire to learn about notre dame football and college football.
    3. we have seen the shut up defense tried in the civil courts before as well. the response from the judges is always open your mouth again and i will hold you( the persons asserting the shut up defense, never us) in contempt of court.
    4. only real evidence is admissible in the courts, not internet garbage personal attacks.
    5. for any real notre dame fans who want to learn something about notre dame’s student athletes and how much they love and respect charlie weis and his staff, check out the interviews posted at and irish illustrated, notre dame’s student athletes who have the option of leaving notre dame for the nfl next season will not be back at notre dame if charlie and his staff are not back at notre dame.very few, if any, of notre dame’s current 2010 verbal commits will stick with notre dame if charlie and his staff are not back with full support from notre dame, with quite a few more sitting on the fence, but not willing to wait until after the stanford/notre dame game.
    6.assistant coach brian polian,whose interview appears at irish illustrated recounts how much he and his wife and young children love the notre dame community and the notre dame student athletes, but detest the media vultures who are contantly harassing notre dame’s head coach and assistant coaches and notre dame’s student athletes who also play football.
    7.if anyone detects an attitude that brian and the other assistant coaches and their families will all leave notre dame unless vultures like eric hansen and every media con artist like him are all banned from the notre dame campus, he would be absolutely correct.
    8. eric hansen and his asociates will not be collecting those big bonuses that they have been promised if they drive charlie and his staff away from notre dame. eric hansen and his asociates will all be banned from the notre dame campus before next season.
    9. for those whom we bother with our posts, we can only state that we are happy to bother such deserving people and will continue to do so.
    10. the question is why do you keep coming back? none of you belong at notre dame central. none of you love notre dame or understand notre dame even if you graduated from notre dame.
    GO IRISH!!!

  20. bibs - Nov 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    1. fact, robertg is unable to use his CAPS key except for the last sentence.
    2. fact, if i use the word fact to start a point it must really be a fact.
    3. fact, robertg works more than is thought humanly possible. he counts typing in non-sensical statement as work in which case i agree he does more than i thought humanly possible
    4. fact, robertg is the most entertaining thing here even if he is an obvious troll

  21. NDFAN401 - Nov 20, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    John E. Orr, So the answer to our football program woes in your opinion is to play AA teams? This type of view shames us all, Notre Dame is already looked down upon by many becuase we are an independant, playing double A schools would be a disaster! What needs to happen is that the people that run the program need to take charge and advance the program.
    The answer to these problems is instill an enviroment of accountability this needs to apply to all starting with the administration, the AD, the coaching staff and the players. When Charlie Weis was hired recruiting got better because the high school players wanted to play for a coach that had NFL success. We need to restore the entire program so that the high school players want to play football in a great program and get a top notch education. Playing double A teams would only cause the players to become more complacent and not improve. Great teams play up to and over top of their competition not down to it, as we have seen this year. If you are going to post here as a Notre Dame alumni and fan please make the suggestions good not crazy!
    Look!, Stephen of Troy not written in all caps! (no offense intended)

  22. StephenOfTroy - Nov 20, 2009 at 10:41 PM

    Mr. Arnold, sorry, but I think we crossed wires somehow. My point was that I am more sarcastic and caustic about NBC / MSNBC than I would dare to be if I was in fact Keith Arnold. I wasn’t implying or suggesting that you are sarcastic. And as to robertg, Mr. Arnold, I get the “mad” part, but “genius?” Hmmm. I don’t know if you ever saw any episodes of Pinky and the Brain on Looney Tunes, but I submit that robertg is Pinky. He’s no genius. He’s wondering where we’re going to get a duck and a hose at this hour. The only other thing I want to say is that if you live in Manhattan Beach, I’m jealous. I lived in Hermosa for a year during law school. You lucky stiff. You get a sweet job writing about football and you live in Manhattan Beach. You should have to live in South Bend and put up with freezing winters and being 90 miles away from a major airport.
    bibs, I’m not sure I’d call what robertg does “working.” It’s a labor of love, to be sure, but to me it seems like revisionist history on a delusion-of-grandeur scale. ND didn’t lose to Navy. Clausen got turf toe because Navy cheats. Everyone who beat the Irish will be shown to be dirty rotten cheating scoundrels. The failure to find evidence of the conspiracy is simply evidence in itself that the conspiracy is bigger than any of you nonbelievers would have dreamed. And so forth. I mean, the guy even has time to bring the Ireland vs. France World Cup qualifying match into his rant. (But to be fair, that WAS an obvious handball. I look on the bright side: this is another reason for me to knock the French, something I as an American [and an American who still rues the 8 am French classes I took in college] consider myself honor-bound to do.)
    Oh, and NDFAN, all I can say is, “WELL DONE!” (smiles)

  23. StephenOfTroy - Nov 20, 2009 at 10:50 PM

    Oh, and NDFAN, I wanted to clarify that my compliments were not merely for the format of your comment, but also for the substance. I agree that “great teams play up to and over top of their competition.” Diluting your schedule will only give your enemies more fuel to fan the fires against you.
    The solution, as you suggest, is to commit to excellence, make everyone accountable, from the head coach on down, and re-build the program by emphasizing fundamentals like PUNTING, blocking, tackling, and playing each play with maximum effort. You must also emphasize that every player has a role, from 1 to 53, and that only if each player fulfills his role can the team succeed as it should. That’s the only way to build a championship caliber team, in my view.
    Great comment, NDFAN, please keep them coming.
    Oh and robertg, please, please, for the love of God, all creatures great and small, don’t ask questions like “why do you keep coming back” and don’t say “none of you belong at notre dame central.” My doctor says I’m already ingesting way more irony than he believes is healthy.

  24. StephenOfTroy - Nov 20, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    IndianaJoe (24 and 25): Great stuff! I wish I’d written it. I agree almost 100%. Not sure how I overlooked your comments. Must have been rubbing my eyes and trying to see straight after reading all that numbered nonsense from our resident conspiracy-theorist-in-chief.

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