White Defends Weis

kevin white5Today’s Chicago Tribune has an excellent article of an interview with Notre Dame AD Kevin White in which White comes to the defense of third year head coach Charlie Weis.   It is a very interesting reading and I recommend you take a look if you have the time.  Here is one passage in particular that I found thought provoking:

Did you think you got more of a finished product when you hired Weis?

That would be an easy cop-out for me, to say, “I didn’t quite know what I bought, and I got something a little bit different.” I can’t say that. … The guy we hired is the guy we have. I think we knew just who was coming here.

Did we think there would be, to use your expression, a learning curve from the NFL after 15 seasons? Absolutely there would be a learning curve. But we continue to be in this thing for the long term.

And that’s OK? To be on a learning curve at Notre Dame?

We thought he was the very best person suited for this position. I don’t care who came in here. There isn’t anybody who would come in here and not have a learning curve.

We knew there would be a transitional period for him. In his first two years, I think most people were really pleased that he had made a very successful transition. And then we got into the “seam.” I don’t care who found themselves in what I characterized in our “seam”—anybody would have struggled.

His record is about the same as his predecessor’s. Why is Weis not in danger?

The moment we were managing in 2004 was singular. And you make the very best calls you can make when you’re in a process, and you’re at a particular place within a process. Now we’re in a bit of a different process, and we’re in a bit of a different moment.

Really the only thing I want to speak to in particular is the recruiting. … Charlie has been an outstanding recruiter. If you look at the freshman and sophomore classes, and the prospect of a very strong class in 2008, there’s enough—at least for me—evidence that we will move through the “seam” and come out the other side and have a pretty darn good football program.

What I find particularly interesting is that White specifically mentions recruiting as the main difference between Weis and the “predecessor.”  Recruiting is indeed the biggest difference between the two and is the main reason there is some light at the end of the tunnel in this horrible season.  In 2004, there was no light at the end of the tunnel.  We had a terrible recruiting year in 2003 and 2004 was shaping up to be just as bad.  Those recruiting efforts combined with two back to back disappointing seasons were reason to believe that 2005 would have been no different under the previous regime.

Considering Weis took us to back to back BCS bowls and is recruiting his arse off right now, there is reason to believe that 2007 will be a blip on the radar and not the norm as it appeared would be the case under Ty.

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  1. Robert and all:
    My apologies for the type errors. When I have passion in my writing-I see red and have miscues. My apologies.
    I DO know what I am talking about with regards to the OSU debacle in accountablity. When Hayes was here, ( God rest his soul) professors absolutely WERE NOT to flunk any student. They DID have study time in the Ohio Union and other places. However, there would be an incomplete before they would flunk a student. He had that much power. Unfortunately, the s.o.b. lost his temper with the Clemson game and that is his mark in history. My cousin played on the team and he said Hayes made the game a
    labor of hate. BTW, the Big 10 had Michigan and OSU and occasionally a challenge from Mich. St and Iowa and an upset or two. If OSU had to play the variety of teams even in their non-confernence schedule, one would see the “seams” as Mr. Gilleran put it. Don’t get me wrong folks-Tressel is a class act. However, this town is mornonic at best and at worst, I dare not say when it comes to OSU football.
    Get out of town and lock your doors. It is the bloody truth. About ND, right choice for getting rid of BOTH Davie and Willingham. The latter is having a rough time at Washington and the former was two faced to Lou and that is the mark of a spinless, vanilla man with little or no spirit. Lazy Davie-only reason he was hired is because he was Wadsworth’s puppet and yes man. In prison I believe they call that a bitch!

  2. Robert Gilleran:
    Regarding your post on November 23 at 11:24 p.m.
    Ohio State ( I live here in Columbus) does not have a seam as you say for a few reasons. Craig Krenzel is NOT the RULE-he is the EXCEPTION.
    One should review these things before you post such comments. My wife is a professor of English at OSU and it is absolutley an abomination the low gpa and academic standards here. THAT IS THE RULE and I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. Krenzel this and that was nearly all one heard when OSU played on TV. WHY? He was the EXCEPTION!
    That said, OSU has the luxury of one of the easiest schedules in September. 4 games -2 from Ohio -this year there was 3. One team either from the Pac 10 or the ACC or Big East or Big 12. Since 95, they have played Notre Dame and Texas and the following teams once: Arizona, West Virginia, Boston college and Miami Florida and again–Washington as they did this year. The rest of the time is a warm up while the Irish are busting their ass with no warm up at all playing teams which are competitive-not lower gimme wins. Furthermore, the Big 11 ( 10 ) conference as with other conferences has those in the basement, the middle the upper tiered and the those fighting to be # 1. This Big 11 conference did NOT have much of that at all. OUtside of Illinois and Wisconsin and Indiana showing promise the same old drudgery occured in Big 11 country. Joe Pa has a line lacking imagination. Michigan-well not great. Mich. St. deserves better because they poop out by the end of the season as did Purdue. The rest are not worht mentioning. However, I WILL say that the Media here in Columbus thought they should move higher in the polls after beating N. Western and Minnesota with such tremendous defense. Look at the Schedule Robert. It is soft at best wsith a challenge 25% of the time AT MOST. OSU has inflated wins, media and egos. Once again Sir, Krenzel is the EXCEPTION –not the rule.
    This is a school which is # 47 and # 54 in the US News and World Report and # 79 in the Kiplinger Reports. Please do not talk to ND about the OSU Academic RULE and exception. Again,look at this “challenging schedule”
    from the State champs of Ohio.

  3. Bob Gilleran,
    Can you tone down the reteric? You’ve been constantly creating multiple posts with numbered lists of what look like have composed sentences. The lists are long and your thoughts seem very disjointed, other than the common theme that anyone who dares criticize this coach is anti-Notre Dame. That simply isn’t true. Those of us who went there understand fully, the desire to succeed and do so with integrity. As a third generation Domer, I heard stories about Rockne and Leahy from family members who were there at the time. Those family members would be concerned as to the overall direction this program has taken.

    I say that to also say the a former coach, Tom Pagna, has become critical of this coaching staff. His concerns are valid in that his experience under Ara was very different from what he is witnessing in the current staff. In Blue and Gold, he points out the need for the staff to work together as it’s own team, not just do what the dictator says. He was disgusted with the language and demeaning tone used b the coaches against the offense in the Stanford game.
    Now that’s just one man’s word. But Tom Pagna has been around the Notre Dame program in one way or another since the 60’s. I think he knows something and I wouldn’t take his concerns lightly.
    Tom’s not anti-Notre Dame, Bob. He’s been with Notre Dame and actually knows what it’s about and loves the school and it’s community. That goes for the rest of us. We’ve been patient but we’re looking for cues, both good and the not so good. We want this staff to come through, but if it can’t then there will be a time to replace it.

    Bob, please take your medicine, learn more about Notre Dame other than what you hear in the Los Angeles area. , and please make your lists more factual, readable, and coherent.

  4. Two points I’d like to add to the discussion:

    Not only was Urban Meyer in play, but Ty was going to quit. He was already talking to Washington when they let him go.

    Also, I totally agree that the academic standards should have nothing to do with the program. It’s my belief that other than engineering or the classic sciences and math, anyone once accepted can pass any undergraduate program in the country. That assumes having passed and graduated high school. When I was at ND in the 80’s the academics were as good as they are today. The football players who applied themselves did fine.
    If the rest of the NCAA is not adhering to the basic standards then someone needs to obtain hard evidence to that effect. Otherwise there is nothing preventing ND from competing other than good coaching, leadership and an established program. In my book, Weis gets one more year. After that he better maintain the thing.

  5. Blaiming ND’s recent difficulties on high academic standards and lack of good recruiting is nonsense. One could argue the administration and AD are far more responsible for recent failures. The 07 team consistently demonstrated a lack of discipline and basic skills – even after 12 games. That is a coaching failure – pure and simple.

  6. frank,

    1. we are pleased to deliver a report of the notre dame victory over stanford.

    2. as was true at the rose bowl at the notre dame/ucla game, tens of thousands of those loyal notre dame fans whom certain sportwriters would have us think had thrown in the towel on the 2007 season showed up in very large numbers( it sure looked and sounded as if there were more notre dame fans than stanford fans in one of the largest crowds ever to show up at the stanford football stadium) to cheer on notre dame’s never throw in the towel 2007 team.

    3. despite being robbed of 2 tds by a dishonest big east ref crew and a dishonest pac 10 play review crew, including a great td catch by david grimes and a replay of the play( without any assistance from the stanford band), which took place 25 years ago in the stanford cal game,orchestrated by an interception by david bruton, a lateral to zibby, a lateral from zibby to walls, and another from walls back to zibby, who took the ball in for the td, nd’s defense, especially trevor laws, played superbly and the offense, with a special cheer for robert hughes, scored 3 other tds and the notre dame 2007 never throw in the towel gang won 21-14.

    4. stanford had 4 shots to tie at very end of the game very close to the goaline. that is where the notre dame fans really did help, along with a very special play from david bruton.

    5.in anticipation that the game might really be close, over 1,000 notre dame fans had purchased every seat in that endzone( yes, we did that intentionnally) and made so much noise that the stanford players could not hear their own play calls or snap counts.

    6. even the espn announcers took special note of and exception to the dishonest calls by the refs and techical review crews and sought explanations of which there were none.

    7. even though both teams played very hard for the entire game and the game at times resembled a street fight, at the end of the game, the members of each team shook hands with one another, as did the fans for both teams, but no one shook hands with the refs or the technical review crew. we did, however, get their names and pictures.

    8. at the last game of the 2007 season for notre dame, the tens of thousands of notre dame fans and every member of notre dame’s 2007 never throw in the towel gang lingered in the stanford football stadium celebrating what they all know is the foundation for many national championships to come in the near future.

    9. stanford coach jim harbaugh did try to gain an advantage over notre dame by turning on the sprinklers full force at 5 am so that the field was more mud than grass.

    10. however, that plan blew up in his face since more stanford players were injured, as a result of the atrocious field conditions, than notre dame players, including both stanford qb’s.

    11. in addition, robert hughes showed again that he thrives on even the worst field conditions.

    our sincere congratualtions to every member of the notre dame 2007 football team, the coaching staff, and to the fans who never even thought of throwing in the towel this season, despite the fraudulent stories put out by some dishonest sportswriters,

    bob gilleran and family and many friends

  7. frank,

    1. as was the rest of the free world, we were horrified with the atrocious manner in which tyrone was treated by certain people at notre dame, who no longer have any say in notre dame football matters.

    2. tyrone was, and remains, a fine gentleman.

    3.most of notre dame’s enemies correctly put their emphasis on the manner in which tyrone was fired, which betrayed every principle for which notre dame is supposed to stand.

    4. we know tyrone and also know that, long before the time of ther firing, tyrone had realized that the same people who hired him at notre dame, who no longer have anything to say about decisions in notre dame football matters, had neglected to tell tyrone a key fact when they hired him;namely, that the notre dame recruiting network was dead when tyrone got to notre dame, courtesy of lazy bob davie.

    5.had tyrone been told of that fact, he never would have taken the notre dame job.

    6. when tyrone was fired in that abominable manner, tyrone already had a head coaching offer from wasington in hand and knew that he could not possibly bring the notre dame recruiting network back from the dead.

    7. tyrone, if he had been approached in a civilized manner, consistent with the principles for which notre dame stands, would have resigned with dignity. being the gentleman that he is, tyrone was not about to resign until notre dame had a successor lined up.

    8. but no, some real class A jerks, like jason kelly of the sbt, had the get their power rush and spooked some people at notre dame, who no longer have any say whatsoever in notre dame football matters, to go ahead with the firing atrocity.

    9. the costs to notre dame have been horrendous. every year since the firing of tyrone, notre dame has been paying more money to tyrone every year while he is coaching at washington than notre dame has been paying to charlie. quite rightly, notre dame took and well deserved blow to its reputation and earned the distrust of recruits and people all over the us. after all, notre dame had violated the very principles for which notre dame is supposed to stand.

    10. when charlie arrived at notre dame, he found great undeveloped talent at some positions( the shark had never seen any real playing time before charlie arrived), little or no talent at other positions, and zero depth of talent at any postion.

    11. with all of these obstacles, charlie and his staff and the members of notre dame’s 2005 and 2006 football teams not only won. they went to 2 bcs games in a row, even though the lack of depth certainly hurt the team in both bcs games( remember what happened at the half of the 2006 notre dame/lsu game when dt derek landri went down with an injury).

    12.in 2005, notre dame actually beat a usc team of full time football players at south bend, only to have the result reversed by a crew of crooked pac 10 refs, who played with the game clock and failed to call at least 5 blatant penalties by usc at the end of that game, not even counting the bush push.

    13. in the face of all of that negativity and distrust of notre dame because of the manner in which tyrone was fired, charlie and his staff still did very well on the recruiting trail in 2006 and 2007. with the arrival of corwin brown and the application of what charlie and his staff had learned about college football recruiting in 2006 and 2007, they have hit a grand slam in 2008 and have the best and the brightest lined up for 2009, 2010, and the future.

    14. will they ever be satisfied at just maintaining the recruiting network which they have already created? no. they will always be adding to that network with the same determination and hard work which they have applied ever since they got to notre dame, with honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame’s high academic and character standards.

    15. when the seam year of 2007 did hit, the same media slimebags came out of the woodword to attack notre dame football with the same tactics and false information.

    16. my friends and i have no expertise in college football coaching or recruiting. however, when we take on any project in any area of life to drive out the dishonesty and the crooks, we have to learn a great deal about that area of human endeavor in order to identify the crooks and the dishonesty before we can apply our expertise in the civil courts to take down the crooks with extreme economic consequences.

    17. on the media side, we have been tracking the crooks and colleting evidence sine 2002. we have given warnings to everyone and oportunties to cease and desist and apologize. right now, a gang of 4 has made to cutoff for economic extermination- ivan maisel of espn.com, stewart mandel of sports illustrated, john walters of nbc sports, and jason kelly of the sbt.

    18. although we have many friends who are notre dame graduates, none of them are involved in our project to clean the crooks and dishonesty from college football and college sports, for reasons which they understand.

    19. we are all shareholders in the corporate employers of each of the gang of 4 and, as such, have the right to go after them in the civil courts for fraudulenty taking paychecks from those corporations. none of their employers will help them in the courts since we are not holding any of the corporate employers responsible and, since, as shareholders, we are their employers.

    20. on the crooked ref side, we have gathered enough film and other evidence to know that, as long as the conferences remain in the ref business and continue protecting the dishonest refs, college football and other athletic contests will never be played on even playing field.

    21. the nfl has a ref system that works. all nfl refs are hired trained and supervised by the nfl, not by any conference. in addition, modern technolgy, which is not very expensive, permits real time review of every single play for blown calls and non calls and the immediate firing of any refs who make too many mistakes.

    22. we are not interested in any meeting and discussions. we are just going to use our deadly weapons of economic desruction in the civll courts to shove the solution down the throats of the conferences, the schools that muck with the refs, and the ncaa.

    23. how do we get at them? they all derive their salaries from the same publicly traded companies in which we are all shareholders.

    24. we have no delusions that the ncaa, in its current format can be trusted.we have gathered a great deal of evidence on corruption at the ncaa. therefore, the public will have complete access to the backgrounds of every ref, current finanicial statements( we will not forget about the boosters and the sports bookies), and a complete complaint history on every ref.

    25.these are the things that we can do to help notre dame and every school which plays college football and college sports with honesty and integrity.

    26. as for the coaching and recruiting and play on the fields and courts, we have absolute faith in charlie, corwin, their staffs, and the fine student athletes whom they have already brought to notre dame and will, in the future.

    go irish!!! beat stanford!! it is a very nice day in pa, on the farm, and at stanford, another school that plays college football and athletics with honesty and integrity,

    bob gilleran

  8. frank,

    1. so that i do not forget another school that plays football with integrity and elects not to shove its student athletes into courses with no academic content, take a look at the buckeyes of ohio state.

    2. while the ohio state university is a state school which has to serve a much broader student base than notre dame, just remember who their qb was on their 2002 national championship team- craig krentzel, a premed major.

    3. and craig is not just one exception. he is, with minor exceptions, the rule.

    4. any why do the buckeyes not have seam seasons? that is because they never hire any coach who does not maintain their recruiting network, as lazy bob davie failed to do at notre dame, thereby making a seam year or years inevitable and bringing back the notre dame recruiting network back from the dead an almost impossible task, although charlie and corwin and their staffs have done so.

    5. they have also respected the needs of many student athletes who choose notre dame to concentrate on the academic adjustment to notre dame before concentrating on their development as athletes.

    6. these are the values that notre dame has chosen to stick with and we are immensely proud of those choices, as are the fine student athletes and their families who choose notre dame over the nfl or bust football factories.

    again, congratulations on staying the course,

    bob gilleran

  9. frank,

    1. right on about the difference. charlie and corwin and their staffs brought the notre dame recruiting network back from the dead with a lot of very hard work, visiting high schools all over the us where the coaching staffs had not seen anyone from notre dame for decades.

    2. the person who caused the death of the notre dame recruiting network was lazy bob davie, not tyrone.

    3. the seam that kevin white was speaking about made a season like 2007 inevitable.

    4. to gather the commits for the nation’s no 1 2008 recruiting class in the us and to hold them together in the face of a 2007 season that looked so ugly on the field, with a lot of help from every member of the courageous 2007 notre dame never throw in the towel gang, with honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame’s high academic and character standards is an achievement unequaled in the history of notre dame football and college football.

    5. we are not at all surprised that kevin white gave his interview to the chicago tribune and not to anyone at the south bend tribune.

    6. it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that any school which is going to compete for national championships every year in any sport needs top 5 recruiting classes every year with talent and depth of talent at every position.

    7. when notre dame’s class of 2008 arrives at notre dame next summer, notre dame will have talent at every position and depth of talent at every position for the 1st time in decades and the pumps primed for 2009 and 2010 because of all of that time spent on the recruiting trail by charlie, corwin, and their staffs.

    8. lazy bob davie just sat in his office in south bend admiring himself in the mirror instead of hitting the recruiting trail and maintaining the recruiting network that lou holtz had created. how many high schools did lazy bob davie visit? how much quality time did lazy bob davie spend with high school coaching staffs and with recruits and their families? perhaps 1% of the time that charlie and corwin and their staffs have spent.

    9. when the 2008 recruiting class gets to notre dame next summer and many of them see playing time next season, will the results show as quickly as they would at one of the football factories at which football players have no real academic obligations? no.

    10. notre dame made the choice to play football with integrity and honesty and performing the ethical obligations that any school should have to every student athlete-to make certain that they each have the benefit of a real education in case the nfl does not work out and for life after the nfl.

    11. we are very proud of the choices that notre dame and charlie and corwin and their staffs have made and stuck with.

    12. we are also immensely proud of every member of the notre dame 2007 team. it took a lot of guts to go out on the field every week knowing that they were facing players with much more experience in every game and never throwing in the towel.

    13. this is the team that made the national championships of the future possible.

    14. could urban meyer have done what charlie has done? not in a million years. sure, a person can get a fine education a florida. however, take a look at their course catalogue. there are plenty of choices with no real academic content, just as there are at usc and michigan and virtually every other school, with the exceptions of stanford, duke, boston college and the service academies, and a few others.

    15. notre dame made the tough choices for the benefit of notre dame and for the benefit of every student athlete who chooses notre dame.

    16. notre dame’s 2008 recruits and their families obviously see this and the reasons for the seam. charlie and corwin and their staffs were brutally honest with each of them and with their families anf high school coaches. that is why they are all sticking with notre dame despite all of the vicious and fraudulent mudslinging by some real jerks.

    keep up the great work,

    bob gilleran

  10. Ugh. This Ty BS is killing me. The reason they let go of Ty – and put themseleves up to take the inevitable sh*tstorm that would come from firing him after 3 years – is that ND thought Urban Meyer was a lock. Who didn’t?

    If Urban wasn’t in play, I don’t think Ty was gone for at least 1 or 2 more seasons.

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