Firing Charlie Weis: A Word of Caution for Notre Dame Fans
If only the offensive line was as aggressive as the Notre Dame press corps. If only Jimmy Clausen had passed with the same precision as the snowball snipers in the Irish student sections. Things might have been different.
They're not, and it's undoubtedly time for new leadership in South Bend.
Yet, I'm not mad at Charlie Weis.
I don't fault him for his brazen rhetoric upon arriving in 2005. At the time, it was exactly what we needed to hear.
I don't resent Weis for securing his professional and financial future by signing a contract extension. Any one of us would have done the same.
Weis' on-field shortcomings as head coach of the Fighting Irish have been delineated in far greater depth than I care to read, much less re-write. His overall record and apocalyptic late-season loss to Syracuse resemble those of his predecessor, but while similarities should dictate a similar fate, let's not allow them to create a similar sentiment.
Weis is one of us. A Notre Dame graduate and fan who cares deeply about the University. Who, despite his ego, will give serious consideration to stepping down voluntarily if he feels it's in the program's best interest. Who was willing to look in the mirror this off-season and make changes in the hopes of improving himself and his team. Who never set foot on a golf course, instead logging more hours in the office and on the recruiting trail than any coach in Notre Dame history.
His approach and personality alienated many Notre Dame dignitaries, and, as a result, his termination will feel retributive.
However, Charlie Weis did not run this program into the ground. In fact, if Saturday's game against USC is his last, he leaves it in much better condition than it was received. Notre Dame's next head coach will inherit pristine facilities, a manageable schedule, and a roster loaded with potential.
For the latter alone, we should say "thank you" and move forward, respecting the fact that, in part because of Weis' efforts, things will be different next season.
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