Attention ND recruits: Charlie Weis isn’t going anywhere

When a poster on the IrishEnvy boards wrote that there were “reports out of Chicago” that Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis was going to leave his alma mater to take up the head coaching position with the New York Giants, I was puzzled. I mean, I remembered reading an OPINION column from the Chicago Sun-Times in which Irish-hater and all-around asshat extraordinaire Jay “Mute Him, Please” Mariotti wrote this:

Don’t be shocked, should the Flailing Irish start 0-8 and finish 2-10, if Weis seeks a convenient escape hatch in January: the New York Giants. How interesting that Tom Coughlin’s tenure is ending as Weis, a New Jersey native and former Giants assistant under Bill Parcells, stumbles in his so-called dream job. … Very quietly, as we see happen every year in the coaching racket, politics will move incrementally to airlift Weis from his South Bend nightmare and into the Meadowlands. The longer he stays, the more sheen he loses from his once-golden reputation. And with the Chicago Public League becoming a recruiting problem zone after the fiasco involving benched quarterback Demetrius Jones, who was used as an unwitting short-term pawn while designated hotshot Jimmy Clausen recovered from injuries, Weis is falling out of favor in too many places.

This, of course, is hardly a “report”: it’s just a columnist with nothing intelligent to say, making things up to stir the pot. But this didn’t stop other newspaper and internet columnists, gullible bloggers, and - apparently, reading between the lines of that original post as well as this one - sports talk radio hosts from treating Mariotti’s idle musings as if they were based on some sort of inside information.

On closer inspection, it turns out that Mariotti wasn’t even the first columnist to “break” this non-story: almost a full week earlier, Akron Beacon Journal columnist George Thomas had written of “[r]umors swirling around Weis and his future and how the New York Giants would love to make him mentor to Eli Manning as that team begins its free fall.” The fact that this sentence occurred just two paragraphs before the claim that “None of today’s high school seniors were born” (!!) would, one might think, be enough to discredit such “rumors” altogether.

But it won’t, nor will the fact that Mariotti and the rest of his ilk haven’t got a leg to stand on, let alone anyone “inside” ND or the Giants organization to back them up, when they make claims like this. Mariotti happily reminds us, of course, that Charlie Weis reportedly called the Giants his “dream job” when he interviewed with the Giants back in 2004 for what is now Tom Coughlin’s position. But even if that story - which is once again all that it is, mind you - is true it’s hard to put much stock in what someone says when he’s angling for a promotion. Meanwhile, Mariotti naturally fails to mention that Weis said a year or so ago, when first round of unfounded Weis-to-the-Giants speculation started rolling, that “I’m staying here until they fire me or I die.”

My real gripe, though, doesn’t lie so much with idiot sports journalists as with the nefarious ends to which desperate coaches will employ their musings. Georgia defensive tackle Omar Hunter, who committed to the Irish over the summer, has reportedly said that opposing coaches are using rumors like this one to encourage him to jump ship. This, of course, is scuzziness of the worst sort, but it’s hardly unsurprising to anyone who follows recruiting much.

But Big Omar is not one to be swayed by such nonsense, nor - hopefully - are the rest of our recruits. By all accounts, Weis and the rest of the coaching staff have been doing a great of staying in touch with his committed players, to make sure that they’re up to speed on what’s happening with the program, that their questions are answered, and that they have no reason to worry about whether he’ll leave his beloved alma mater hanging out to dry. That this kind of thing needs to be done is certainly clear enough to them after the fiasco that was the end of the 2007 recruiting season - and with defensive coordinator Corwin Brown as his right-hand man, there’s no reason to think that Weis isn’t more than capable of keeping this little brushfire under control.

Have you heard, though, that Urban Meyer and Pete Carroll are on the short lists for 0-3 Buffalo, St. Louis, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Miami? Watch out, kids …

Look at me, Ma!
I’m a shameless rumor-mongerer and an all-around jerk!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply