Have The Irish Quit On Weis?

September 17, 2007 – 4:36 am by Ryan Phillips

Since I spend about 90 percent of my waking hours watching HBO On Demand or cruising recruiting Web sites, it was only a matter of time before this story found its way into my inbox. According to several writers on Notre Dame’s rivals.com site, Irish Illustrated, the team has completely quit on head coach Charlie Weis. I don’t believe you can access the articles unless you are a member, but let me sum up for you what staff writers Tim Prister and Pete Sampson had to say.

Prister claims that Weis lambasted the players for about a half an hour in the visiting locker room after the Michigan game. He told the team that Sunday would not be the typical film review day and instead would be Weis’ version of boot camp. He added that it was a forgone conclusion that he had completely lost this year’s team. Prister and Sampson both also discussed the transfer of opening game starting quarterback Demetrius Jones, saying that he, in fact, had to be enrolled at Northern Illinois by September 12, but continued to practice and stay at Notre Dame until he didn’t show up for the bus to the Michigan game. He didn’t even tell Weis, no one did, despite the fact that several players were aware of the situation. The Jones transfer has far more wide reaching concerns than the departure of a backup quarterback. Sampson claims that Jones was one of the most popular players in the locker room and none of his former teammates were angry about his transfer, most supported him or understood.

Prister goes on to say that Jones didn’t transfer from Notre Dame, he abandoned a sinking ship. Keep in mind, this is a pro-Irish Web site. He also says that when he bumped in to Jones last Wednesday and asked him if he was ready for the Michigan game, Jones responded by saying, “If you thought there was drama before, there’s some drama coming up.” That obviously shows that Jones knew ahead of time he was moving on.

Prister then unloaded this gem, “Sure everyone knew the ’07 season would be a titanic struggle. What no one knew is that it would develop into a Titanic-like struggle. Weis has lost his football team, and beating the crap out of them on the practice field offers no guarantees and runs the risk of losing them permanently.” Well said.

Sampson is perhaps even more harsh. He refers to Weis has “Hurricane Hubris.” He slams him for failing to read his team and their mood all the way back to spring practice, for the erosion of simple techniques and fundamentals he credits to Weis’ arrogance. And he rips him for installing two offenses for two quarterbacks (one for Jimmy Clausen and one for Jones) rather than perfecting a basic off-tackle play.

Let’s all remember that while everyone was lauding Weis’ “transformation” of the program over the last two years, he was playing with upperclassmen who weren’t even brought in by him. While he’s done well in getting players (back to back No. 8 recruiting classes according to rivals) he has never shown that he can develop them. He’s never shown that he can read a team’s psyche, connect with them, pick them up when they’re down and keep them focused and prepared when they’re too cocky. That is the essential difference between college and the pros and it’s why guys like Pete Carroll and Mack Brown have been successful. I’m not saying Weis can’t do it, he just hasn’t shown he can so far.

Through some enterprising research, I also discovered that at a tailgate last season, the members of Notre Dame’s 1966 team were telling anyone who would listen about the complete lack of respect they had for Weis and the way he had treated former players. This week players from the 1973 National Championship team said the same thing. As former players are not allowed to attend practices or even meet the players. And most of the “insiders” close to the program feel Weis has thrown his players under the bus, despite the fact that they obviously haven’t been anywhere close to prepared for their first three games.

To cap this all off, here are some statistics for you to ponder:
-Notre Dame has started a season 0-3 only one other time in their history, that was in 2001 and then-head coach Bob Davie was fired after the season.

-The Irish have allowed 23 sacks and have yet to score an offensive touchdown in three games.

-They have lost five straight games by a combined score of 187-51.

-They currently rank dead last (120th) in the NCAA with -14 yards rushing on the season (or -4.7 per game).

-They rank 116th in passing offense, averaging 119.7 yards per game.

-They have allowed 1060 total yards this season, while gaining just 345.

-Weis is the first Notre Dame coach to lose five straight games since Hugh Devore did it in 1963, the last season the Irish lost to Navy. Oh, and Devore was fired after that season as well.

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  1. 18 Responses to “Have The Irish Quit On Weis?”

  2. It is hard to even get giddy for this; and I hate Notre Dame.

    By NFL Adam on Sep 17, 2007

  3. Yeah, it has gotten pretty sad.

    By Phillips on Sep 18, 2007

  4. This is pretty stupid. There is nothing to support any of these claims. What about the 5th year seniors that keep coming back? Do they just like the abuse? Charlie Weis is not doing a great job right now, but he is not going anywhere for a long time. Notre Dame cannot afford to buy him out of his contract. Suck it up and deal with it.

    By Anonymous on Sep 18, 2007

  5. Hee hee hee!

    By Lloyd Carr on Sep 18, 2007

  6. Well, he did tell the press that his rings “trump” my rings, so that must count for something.

    By Jim Tressel on Sep 18, 2007

  7. While reading the article, I replaced “Weis” with “Callahan” and “Notre Dame with “Nebraska.” It didn’t change the veracity of the article one bit. Good recruiting; an inability to develop players and no results.

    By Gravitating Toward Mediocrity on Sep 18, 2007

  8. And most of the “insiders” close to the program feel Weis has thrown his players under the bus,

    Yeah, when he’s repeatedly refused to call out players in his press conferences, he’s thrown them under the bus. When he’s all but admitted that he completely blew fall camp (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, spring camp as well) by reverting to practicing fundamentals, he’s thrown his players under the bus.

    I don’t know who’s got the idea that he’s blaming the players, but I just don’t see it.

    an inability to develop players

    Yeah, Weis sure failed to develop Quinn, Stovall, and Samardzija.

    So far, we have a grand total of three games worth of lack of development. As concerned as I am by the complete and utter ineptitude of the offensive line, I’m going to give Weis a few more games to try to fix it.

    By Craig on Sep 18, 2007

  9. it shouldn’t matter if the team has lost faith in weis, aren’t they embarrassed of their own performance? I’ve seen kids with (no) less talent put more of an effort and take more pride in their school then this team has the last 5 years. This has nothing to do with recruiting and everything to do with pride. Teams have literally and figuratively walked over, pushed over, spit on, and beat down on the “fightin” irish with not so much as a feeble response by any of the players. the coaching staff has nothing to do with personal pride. there’s a problem when 300 lb. men get pushed aside like children and none of them take it personal. i can accept (for the time being) mistakes in execution, but it is unacceptable to see another game with the lack of passion and spirit we have so often seen out of these and other past players. If these players do not come out fired and looking to knock some heads off for their own pride and for their families, then they don’t deserve to wear those uniforms that so many great and passionate players have worn before.

    By Anonymous on Sep 18, 2007

  10. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the career of Weis.

    The guy is as arrogant at they come (remember his 60 minutes interview?…sheesh). He may have gotten away with his cocky attitude in the NFL, but it ain’t going to fly in college due to a thing called recruiting.

    If a kid/team is continually berated by Weis then the results should not be shocking. Anyone under similar circumstances will eventually rebel and quit listening. The reputation will evetually hurt recruiting.

    I think Weiss is having the same problem John Mackovic experienced at Arizona, outright mutiny by the team.

    If he doesn’t humble himself and change his attitude I think his time will be short at Notre Dame.

    By maximus bevo on Sep 18, 2007

  11. “Yeah, Weis sure failed to develop Quinn, Stovall, and Samardzija”

    They werent his players.

    By Anonymous on Sep 18, 2007




    By SAD MIDWESTERNER on Sep 18, 2007

  13. it won’t be long before young Jimmy is at Tennessee….

    By Anonymous on Sep 18, 2007

  14. Kismet. Weis has got too much of that NJ jerk mentality, which may play well in the Northeast but not in the Mid west. Emblematic are his multiple lawsuits especially against the doctors in Boston. It is obvious from the last game that the kids are not playing for him. The need some leadership on the team so they can start playing for themselves.

    By barry's blog on Sep 19, 2007

  15. I have always held the position that we give too much credit to the coaches. Last time I looked, it wasn’t Weis out there letting his head get bashed in, it wasn’t weis out there dropping the ball or snapping it over the QB’s head. It also wasn’t Weis whose but will probably have a permanet grass stain on it because he could get the protection he needed to stay up.
    The people we need to be griping about is the players. They started Saturday’s game against Michigan playing like complete and total crap. Believe me, even a little bit of passion can go a long way. They have to get their heads in the game and play their hearts out and leave it ALL on the field. If they are unwilling to do that then they should all transfer to other schools and ND should forfit the rest of the season. The way they are playing is so pathetic that I dread watching them play this Saturday, and I am a DIE HARD fan and haven’t missed a game in years.

    By Mike on Sep 19, 2007

  16. This is just anti recruiting b.s. with no basis. Left alone, we will work and play our way out of this abyss. But if enough of this anti Weiss crap puts seeds of doubt in our 2008 recruits then we will have a longer term problem

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  17. If there were any sort of footnotes or sources linked to in this post, I would take it a bit more seriously. But since there aren’t, it looks merely like hearsay and conjecture from another small-potatoes blogger. Good job.

    By Anonymous on Sep 21, 2007

  18. The truth shall set you free…


    By Amaysing1 on Sep 24, 2007

  19. Being from New England, i’m sure anytime Notre Dame wants to relieve Charlie Weis of his duties as head coach, the NE Patriots would be happy to have him back.

    By Anonymous on Sep 30, 2007

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