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Dead Man on Campus: Charlie Weis' Last Days at Notre Dame

Mike MuratoreCorrespondent INovember 25, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Charlie Weis of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waits to enter the field with (L-R) Jimmy Clausen #7, Eric Olsen #55, Kyle McCarthy #28 and Scott Smith #41 before a game against the University of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For all those who say that there are no such thing as zombies, I submit Charlie Weis and the Notre Dame coaching staff.

Even the embattled coach himself seems resigned to the fact that his dismissal is imminent, saying at his weekly postmortem address that he would agree with a coaching change.

When you are the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, you have to believe that you are the best man in the world for the job. The moment you waver in that belief, it is truly time to go.

Through the previous two straight terrible seasons, Weis never wavered in his commitment that he had the program headed in the right direction. He stood steadfast and confident, even after a dreadful 3-9 campaign in 2007 and after losing to 2-8 Syracuse on Senior Day in 2008.

Following this year's Senior Day overtime loss to Connecticut, the third in what looks like four straight losses to end the 2009 season at 6-6, Weis' tank looks empty.

When there is no fight left in the coach of the Fighting Irish, it is impossible to imagine him remaining.

The entire world expects the ax to fall before noon on Monday, Nov. 30, when Notre Dame's season will be complete with either a disappointing 7-5 record, or a disastrous 6-6 and the official worst three-year stretch in Notre Dame history.

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There is no doubt as to Weis' fate. The bigger question is, what happens now? How should Charlie Weis spend his last days with the program?

Reports are swirling that Weis has cancelled his planned recruiting trip following the Stanford game, and that the Clausen family has sold their property in South Bend.

If Charlie Weis loves Notre Dame as much as he says he does, he will first make sure that his players share in a commitment to the school above their coach. He will ensure that the incoming recruits remain committed to play for the Irish.

He must also try to leave the program at least as talented as he found it.

He must do everything possible to keep Golden Tate and Jimmy Clausen from entering the NFL draft so they can make runs at the Heisman Trophy in 2010.

He must have a heart-to-heart with Manti Te'o and make sure that the best player on the Irish defense since Frank Stamms remains in South Bend. He must also try to beg Te'o to wait on taking his Mormon Mission for at least another year.

The best thing Weis could do would be to resign.

He needs to admit that he is not the man to coach this team and save the program the embarrassment of having to publicly flog him.

Weis is a great offensive coach, and there is little doubt that soon he will regain success in an NFL coaching booth at the helm of a pro offense.

As a college coach, at Notre Dame, he unfortunately did not fulfill his promise.

So what happens now?

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