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Backed into a corner, Stoops says no to ND

Dec 5, 2009, 5:30 PM EDT

As I’ve tried to humorously note these past few days, the rumor mill is churning out of control. The best example of that is the latest, greatest stunt chronicled by our friends at BGS, entitled “Anatomy of a rumor.”

As someone who tries to comb just about every message board known (and unknown) to Notre Dame fans near and far, I watched this story manifest as the seeds were planted by a bored law school student, sending a completely bogus (but detailed) email to a website called

Without replying to the email or asking any follow-up questions, FootballCoachScoop simply posted the rumor.

Notre Dame:
tell us that Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick is very interested in
talking with Wisconsin Head Coach, Bret Bielema, after the Badgers trip
from Hawaii.  They are expected to talk Sunday or Monday, according to our sources.

As BGS points out better than I can, the rumor went from a tiny, unknown website, to a slightly larger, and still completely disreputable, website called the Examiner. From their it got picked up by our friends at CFT, and then at ESPN.

(Both CFT and ESPN ran retractions after their were clued into the farce.)

Yet even with the retractions, a rumor is now news. How’s that for the new generation of journalism?

I only bring this up because of the latest news on Bob Stoops. Even though he’s addressed the issue for a good, solid week, the latest story over at the Chicago Sun-Times today regurgitates a week’s worth of Stoops rumors and forced the Oklahoma coach to go on the record again and emphatically state that he won’t be the next football coach at Notre Dame.

“For the third, and hopefully final time, let me
again state that I will continue to be the coach at Oklahoma. I
appreciate the history and tradition of Notre Dame. I also appreciate
the history and tradition of Oklahoma, and I have been part of building
that tradition here.

“I work for a wonderful president and athletic
director, who have created an incredible work
environment at OU. There haven’t been any plans for a meeting or
negotiations with Notre Dame and there will not be. Any reporting to
that fact is completely erroneous. I will not be the next coach at
Notre Dame.”

There you have it. Barring a Saban-like turn of events, Bob Stoops is out as a candidate to replace Charlie Weis as head coach at Notre Dame.

While we have no true idea if Notre Dame actually wanted to bring Stoops in, thanks to the swirling rumors on the internet and the propensity for big media outlets to run with those rumors instead of vetting them, Stoops was backed into a corner and forced to proclaim emphatically that he didn’t want to come to Notre Dame, even if there was mutual interest from both parties.

It sounds like Sun-Times writer Brian Hanley has been on the beat for a while, so there’s a chance that he had some actual scoop with his latest report. But most likely, he cobbled together the same junk that I’ve been reading for the past five days, nothing more than message board speculation and wishful hypothesizing from Irish fans.

(I realize I’ve been posting the same stuff, but I think I’m pretty open about the fact that this is all rumor and innuendo…)

Bottom line, nobody knows for sure whether or not Jack Swarbrick and Bob Stoops have spoken about the job opening at Notre Dame. And that’s exactly the way it should be, even though we’d all like to know.

But thanks to writers like Hanley and an obviously protective group of fans (and media members) at Oklahoma, Stoops has been forced to acknowledge and deny three times any interest in a job that he might actually be interested in, all because he knows a “no comment” would be interpreted as a sure sign of him bolting for South Bend.

The only way we’ll know if Bob Stoops was interested in the Notre Dame job is if he shows up at the press conference introducing him as head coach. Which is probably the way both Swarbrick and Stoops prefer it.  


  1. TLNDMA - Dec 5, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    Keith, the deafening silence from South Bend, makes me more confident in Jack Swarbrick by the day. It speaks of his professionalism and thoroughness, that no leaks have occured.

  2. Not ND's next coach - Dec 5, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    Now that Urban’s run for a 3rd title ended a game short could he really leave Gainesville for South Bend?

  3. bak - Dec 5, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    Are you smoking dope? Why would he want to leave UF for ND? All the best athletes come out of Florida now and he gives them an opportunity to play close to home, in great weather, in front of family and friends. I admire ND fans faithfulness to their team, but you guys need a reality check.

  4. irishfanintx - Dec 6, 2009 at 12:21 AM

    As long as everyone is starting rumors, I look for Lou Holtz to announce tomorrow during the bowl selection process on ESPN that he has been offered and accepted the head coaching position at ND with a 2 year contract. Skip will be the assistant head coach and Lou will mentor him for 2 years before turning the program over to him.

  5. mrrandolph - Dec 6, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    Well, at ND you are not going to have to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas,Georgia, Tennessee, and others to play in the National Title Game?

  6. Jake - Dec 6, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Your trying to wake up the echoes from 92-94 and I can’t imagine this happening. Lou Holtz is a semi-saint at ND. Anything less than the championship years and he would damage his reputation.
    At his age I can’t believe for a minute he would jump back into this pressure cooker.
    ND needs to move on and let someone new try their luck. Lou did his job, let him enjoy his retirement.

  7. irishfanintx - Dec 6, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Nor will you have to worry about Charleston Southern, Troy, or FIU.

  8. TLNDMA - Dec 6, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Speaking of rumors, looks like Charlie has leaked a beauty about our favorite coach from LA. Weis seems to have a penchant for knocking other people down to build himself up.

  9. irishfanintx - Dec 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Jake, my prediction was done in jest. Every media and internet source is speculating and claiming to know who the next coach is. Seems like they have named every reputable coach in the mix and have reasons why each one will or will not take the job when ND offers it. I have the utmost respect for Lou and hope he does enjoy his retirement–he’s earned it. However, now that I think about it, that is exactly what ND needs to do “wake up the echos” but more like 88-93. And if Lou was to come out of retirement who knows we might see Bret Favre like results.
    TLNDMA-what rumor is that Charlie leaked not sure I am aware.

  10. irishfanintx - Dec 6, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    I just read the rumor on ESPN. Now that is stunning!

  11. TLNDMA - Dec 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    It’s reported on fanhouse.

  12. kejji - Dec 6, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    I would like to get Keiths thoughts on CW outing (if it is true)Pete Carrolls private life.
    Is it a “classy” move on CW’s part to involve himself in Carrolls private life?
    Keith has spent much time defending Charlie against personal attacks…rightfully so, now Charlie for no apparent reason other than spite attacks Carroll personally… what say you keith?

  13. Jake - Dec 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    This was nothing more than sour grapes. It shows a real serious lack of class on CW’s part.
    You just don’t throw someone under the bus like this. It had absolutely nothing to do with football.
    Any respect I had for him is now down the porcelain fixture.

  14. mrrandolph - Dec 6, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Looks like Charlie just fell off the pedestal.

  15. TLNDMA - Dec 6, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    I think Charlie is either crazy(doubt it) or actually fed up with a double standard, at least as percieved by him. It will be interesting to see how big this gets. I would like to here other coaches(Jim Harbaugh)comments on it. I think that could be very enlightening as to why Charlie let this bomb go at this time. I think there’s a big story here(not Carroll’s infedelity), does anyone have enough guts to go get it. Or is it too big for the complete truth to be told. Oh my god, I sound like Robert! Seriously, is Charlie going to have more to say on this. I doubt this is really about an alleged affair and more to do with football matters. Hey Pete, what is your deal?

  16. kejji - Dec 6, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    Robertg is preparing a civil RICO case at this moment against the interviewer who questioned Charlie…clearly said interviewer through trickery, deception and cunning forced Chharlie to say those things about Pete.
    Robertg and his associates have thorougly gone over the tape word by word and this will be an easy victory taking all the material possesions of this wicked and vile interviewer..with the help of honest judge’s and juries.

  17. Art Vandelay - Dec 6, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. There will be better days ahead boys.

  18. Art Vandelay - Dec 6, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Oh, and by the way, who can blame Pete? You ever see some of those SC grad students?

  19. el - Dec 6, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    I’m shocked–SHOCKED–that the author of this site has failed to comment on Charlie Wes’s decision to spread personal information (which at this point is only rumor) about a rival coach. I wonder how that fits into the saintly image of Weis the author has worked so hard to craft on this blog. There is no way around it: whether true or not, this was a completely classless move. But I’m not surprised. Humbled Charlie Weis is apparently less classy than arrogant Charlie Weis. I’d hate to see what successful Charlie Weis is like.
    In addition, can we get some new material on this blog? Every post is the same. Charlie Weis is a class act…yada, yada, yada. Charlie Weis is actually a great coach, blah, blah, blah. Notre Dame gets hosed by an unfair media with an agenda, yada, yada, yada.
    Here’s an idea for a new column: explain to us how NBC Sports can claim to objectively cover Notre Dame football when it hosts a blog whose sole purpose is to present the Irish program in a positive light, with no attempt at objectivity (and, clearly, navy and gold blinders on). Side project: explain how the allegedly biased media counter-balances the enormous media advantage that Notre Dame has via its own, pro-Irish network.
    I realize that this deviates from the script. But, you’re a Notre Dam grad and, as Notre Dame grads are fond of pointing out, that makes you extraordinarily intelligent. So this should be an easy task.

  20. Michael - Dec 6, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Yeah I know they are HOT! I don’t know if you heard yet or not but charlie says those comments were suppose to be off the record. So either somebody told him to keep his mouth shut or he realized how dumb it was to say things like that. Also I just off the phone with my cousin in Ohio and lots of people up there are very concerned about Brian Kelly leaving. My cousin read in the local paper that Kelly has had contact with ND on more than one occasion and would love to put a deal together to leave for ND after the bowl game.

  21. JKS 65 - Dec 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Give Skip Holtz the job he has a great record with alot less talent .And just maybe his Dad Lou will come and help like the coaches in Tenn.You know Notre Dame will not let Lou come back as head coach he would break Knute Rockne win record and that will never happen one more promblem with getting a new coach thats great 10yrs if that then get out of Notre Dame.

  22. teo - Dec 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    I think if the big three — Kelly, Meyer and Stoops — are not interested, Skip is a great candidate. Kelly, Meyer and Stoops are on a different level, though. They’ve each taken struggling programs to the BCS. There is nothing in Holtz’s background that is as impressive.

  23. StephenOfTroy - Dec 7, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    el: GREAT post (19).
    Art: HelenOfTroy just asked me what those grad students have got that she doesn’t have. Thanks for stirring up trouble in the HouseOfTroy.

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