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Weis says firing would be understandable

Nov 22, 2009, 5:00 PM EDT

Charlie Weis didn’t avoid his Sunday press conference this week, not did the press attending avoid asking the tough questions. While we could go on and on breaking down what he said, this exchange breaks down the debate in its essence:

Q: I know you love it when we bring up quotes from early in your career when you first got here. But —
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I do not recall. (Laughter)

Q: Then I may have to remind you.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I do not recall. I might have short-term memory here, if you’re going to reminisce at this point.

Q: I’ll make it real quick. The comment about 6 and 5 is not good enough.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: And I still agree with that.

Q: And so my question is, then, do you feel that because that’s not good enough, is there a justification on the university’s part to call an end to this era?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: You know something, if they decide to make a change, okay, I’d have to say that I’d have a tough time. I’d have a tough time arguing with that. They decided to make a change. I’d have a tough time arguing with that. Because 6 and 5 isn’t good enough. Especially when you’ve lost five games by a touchdown or less. And several 3-point games and you’re right down to the wire. My intent is to be here. Okay. But if that were the rationale, I mean it would be tough for me to argue with that point.

While commenters have been quick to jump all over me for supporting Weis, I feel the exact same way about the situation. If your rationale is bottom-line based, then I’ve got no problem with making a change. And from the sound of it, Charlie doesn’t either.

That said, I don’t support change for change’s sake. I expect the Notre Dame jet to spend time in all the expected places, and maybe a few unexpected. (Say Denver, for a visit with Mike Shanahan.)  And while I’ll probably get killed for it, I wouldn’t mind Weis returning, as long as the team figures out what to do with the defense.

  1. mike ford - Nov 22, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    Good article Keith, I Agree!!

  2. Jan - Nov 22, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    Likewise, ditto on Mike’s comment. I wonder if the most vocal people calling for Charlie’s “head” hold themselves to the same standard (in their fields of endeavor) that they advocate for the coach?

  3. nd =losers - Nov 22, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    DENIAL is not a river in Africa

  4. Mark - Nov 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    I hope Charlie stays. If Charlie leaves, Jimmy leaves. If Jimmy leaves, Golden leaves. Everyone knows this. Why spend 15 to 18 million on a buy-out, THEN spend another 5 or so Million to get someone new.THEN, go through another 2 years getting everyone up to speed on the new coach’s way of playing. Also, what about the blue chipers coming for Weis? They’ll defer, then go to some other school. Keep Charlie one more year. Let him prove what I’ve known since he got there. HE IS THE ONE. Let him stay.

  5. what are you smoking ??? - Nov 22, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    mark, what are you smoking??? I hope I never inhale any of that mind numbing stuff that causes dribble and delusions.

  6. TLNDMA - Nov 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    6&5 is only part of it. Don’t forget, 3&9 and 6&6. Jack Swarbrick believes ND should be in a BCS game most years, and gunning for a national championship frequently. I cannot think of a rational reason to bring Weis back, if you still believe, as Swarbrick does, that the resources are there to get the job done. I won’t go into the numerous reasons I can come up with for letting him go, as I have stated them before. I believe Charlie Weis is a very nice man, who has recruited fine young men. That is a small part of what was expected of him. Results matter, and in the end, are the barometer all coaches will be judged by. I feel for the man, but the time has come.

  7. Bibs - Nov 22, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Keith says “If your rationale is bottom-line based, then I’ve got no problem with making a change. … That said, I don’t support change for change’s sake.”
    I won’t take you to task for wanting Weis back, but I will for the above statements which show a total lack of clear thought.
    Of course, it’s bottom-line based, it’s about winning games and keeping the money flowing in. Are you really so stupid you don’t understand this? Isn’t that why ND canned Willingham? You may wish it wasn’t so, but then don’t go sign big money contracts with NBC if you don’t want the pressure of living up to it.

  8. StephenOfTroy - Nov 22, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    Jan, your loyalty to your team (judging by your prior comments) and its coach (judging by this comment) is commendable. But I have to disagree with your logic.
    Whether we hold ourselves to the same standard as we are advocating for Weis is not the issue. Do we get paid what he gets paid? More to the point, did we sign up to do the high-profile, demanding job he signed up to do? Does that job not come with expectations and obvious objective standards by which the job-holder is to be measured?
    Just because I’m not qualified to be President, does that mean I cannot criticize former President George W. Bush for being atrocious by any rational measure?
    You might be a Republican, so I’ll try a less loaded analogy.
    If I’m at a restaurant and someone goes into cardiac arrest at the next table, and there’s no one else in the restaurant who is better qualified than I am do to CPR, I will do my best. The fact that a trained doctor could have done a better job is not a reason for people to criticize my effort. But if a trained doctor screws up something within his or her expertise, then there is (and should be) a case against that person for malpractice.
    Weis is committing malpractice right now. We can call him out for doing so, even if we each live in our mother’s basements and fear taking on any sort of responsibility like the people in the Middle Ages feared the bubonic plague.

  9. TLNDMA - Nov 23, 2009 at 7:17 AM

    Calling someone stupid, doesn’t make you sound all that bright either. Let’s try to be civil.

  10. bill in shanghai - Nov 23, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    Well, SOT, since you raised the topic, how do you like Obama? If you think he’s a solid leader and capable president, you’re delusional. And since you raise th subject of cardiac arrest as well, you’d best hope you dont ever get sick once he destroys healthcare in America. It might become shitty, but at least it will be more expensive and less available.
    Those of you advocating a head coaching change might want to consider another 2-3 years of conversion time lost, recruits lost, and the risks of being no better off associated with any coaching change. I’d definitely get rid of Brown (talented players, but with no clue how to play the secondary), and maybe Tenuta (weaker players, unsuitable though for his scheme, so why didnt he change the scheme?), but I’d likely give CW another year and have a shot at possibly keeping Clausen and Tate another year. Both would be better off in terms of prep for the NFL, although I think the argument re Tate is weaker than the argument re Clausen.

  11. mrrandolph - Nov 23, 2009 at 7:45 AM

    There is no doubt that the talent level is greater than it has been in many years. But, if you want to gage the progress of the program, watch these conference championship games coming up in December. Watch their speed, physicality, and athleticism and then go back to watch some of the games we have played this year and ask yourself “Could we compete?” Ask yourself if any team we played and beat could compete?

  12. StephenOfTroy - Nov 23, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    bill in shanghai, if this site was about politics, or even if I thought there was a snowball’s chance in hell that you’d read my opinion with a rational eye in good faith, I’d tell you what I think of President Obama. But this site isn’t about politics, and you’re not likely to be confused with a rational person anytime soon.
    Stop waving your ziplock bagged birth certificate at us and take off your teabagger hat. While you’re at it, come back to America. The world didn’t end just because a black guy with a funny name became its leader. Grow up.
    When you grow up, take a moment to assess the ND program rationally. Staying the course in Iraq was a mistake. Staying the course at ND is also a mistake, albeit one with far less serious consequences. You guys are wasting every season with Weis at the helm, so even if I bought your 2-3 year conversion time argument (I do not), it would be irrelevant. I’ll bet you that some recruits opt not to come to South Bend if Weis STAYS, because they don’t want to be humiliated on national TV every other week. Clausen isn’t staying for another year no matter who coaches. Look how deflated he is when he talks to the press now. He’s not going to risk his draft position by coming back and going 6-6 again, nor will he risk injury.
    But I’m not holding my breath for you to grow up.

  13. NDFAN401 - Nov 24, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    StephenofTroy, Sounds like Bill got under your skin there a little? Be rational for a minute and stop arguing politics because no one does that rationally. He does have a good point about Charlie Weis let the man continue to coach the team, not all advances in the program are seen in the win/loss column. I agree that last statement sounds stupid but it is true! Lets say that Charlie Weis comes back and Clausen and Tate leave o.k., another bad season maybe forthcoming, but lets say that Weis leaves and Clausen and Tate leave then several bad seasons are forthcoming. I say again there is no good choice to replace Weis and the program has progressed under him. We should take the progress that has been made and build upon it and the poor decisions that have already been made, well, lets find a way to correct them whether they are coach based or player based.
    Oh, and just for both of you guys information the President, I don’t care who it is is not 100% responsible for all of the problems in the United States, there is plenty of blame for this mess to go around!!!!

  14. StephenOfTroy - Nov 25, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    Bill didn’t get under my skin. I just don’t have any patience for the know-nothings who spout baseless GOP talking points about health care as a way to slam Obama. Like the GOP politician who said “if we defeat health care, it will break him [Obama]. It will be his Waterloo.” People like Bill aren’t interested in advancing the country or caring for its sick people. They are interested in defeating the President. I won’t say it’s because he’s black. I will be charitable and say it’s because he’s a Democrat.
    That said, I don’t agree with keeping Weis on the notion that doing so will stave off mediocrity for another year.
    First of all, ND is ALREADY going through bad seasons. 3-9 isn’t bad to you? 6-6 against a watered-down schedule? What will next year be like, when the senior O-line graduates? Weis staying around means more bad seasons.
    Secondly, you assume in both cases that Clausen and Tate will leave (so do I). I don’t think Weis being around next year, WITHOUT Clausen and Tate, will make the Irish do better than they would under a first-year head coach. Weis had his best years in his first two years. Ditto for Willingham. I think ND’s biggest problems right now are motivation and execution. A new coach, with a new attitude, might be able to fix those things.
    Third, we don’t really know who’s available for the job. There’s a lot of speculation. No coach has gone on record yet to say he wants to coach at ND and would leave his current team if offered the job. But that doesn’t mean no coach has told Jack Swarbrick or his designated negotiator/temperature-taker that. I’m sure Swarbrick has done his research and his homework. He may surprise us all with his announcement of a new coach (assuming Weis gets the axe). After all, he has to know what the alumni and fans think of the prior two or three coaching changes and how poorly they were handled by the ND administration and prior AD, and I’m sure he wants to avoid making that mistake.
    I agree that ND should build upon the progress that has been made, NDFAN, I just think a new coach can read the blueprints as well as (actually, better than) Weis can. Your team deserves a fresh start. Do you really think the underclassmen think Weis is their best choice? The graduating seniors NEEDED to think so. He’s tied to them inextricably. Now they will be known as the class that lost twice to Navy at home, and lost twice in a row on Senior Day. I think the freshmen and sophomores, especially those who did not start for this year’s team, want a chance to do better, and I would be surprised if, in their heart of hearts, they think Weis is the man to show them how.
    But I like your posts and I respect your opinion. Go IRISH!

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