In recent weeks, Charlie Weis has become less and less arrogant-sounding and more and more contrite, even admitting last weekend that he wouldn't blame UND if they cut him loose (his buyout will cushion the fall, of course). Reports circulated that he had cleaned out his office, though who knows if those are accurate. AD Swarbrick told Weis not to go on his west coast recruiting trip and instead head right back to UND after Saturday's inevitable loss to Stanford. And Charlie is now apparently telling friends that he's had contact with at least six NFL teams about coordinator positions.
Speaking of that last point, if I were Notre Dame, I might view that as tampering or maybe Charlie acting inappropriately, and I might try to reduce his buyout as a result. BC fired their coach for listening to other job offers -- how is this any different? Notre Dame is still paying Chuck a lot to be their coach. If his instructions are to lay low, he should lay low and not be fielding job offers. But I digress.
UND lost their last game of the season -- and fourth consecutive -- to finish 6-6, a mere one game better than our rebuilding Purdue program. So about 25 seconds of that September game against them is now all that stands between them being sub-.500 and Purdue in a bowl game. Interesting, given the star-talent on that squad.
After the game, everyone was of course eager to hear from the coach. He had shunned an interview during the game and so this was the first chance to talk to him about this game and his future. As I've said before, part of being paid all these gobs of money is being required to speak to the media and, by extension, the fans. Not doing so is a giant "F U" to all of us. And also, maybe more tellingly, to his players.
These guys stood up for Coach Weis in recent weeks, talking about how they would want him back. Current and former players said firing him would be a mistake. Even after the Stanford loss, when his defense did him no favors, Jimmy "Shiner" Clausen said he wouldn't be at Notre Dame without Coach Weis' influence. Golden Tate said the coach has played a huge part in his development. High praise, and the players have consistently defended their embattled coach.
And how did he pay them back?
By not showing up to speak to the media and leaving his 18-22 year old players to answer questions about the coach's future at Notre Dame. Questions they have no idea how to answer, nor should they. It's awkward and embarrassing and something they should not have to deal with.
But that's what you get with this kind of classy guy.