The 1,000 lb Gorilla In The Room ……….. Charlie Weis

The time has come for the University of Notre Dame to do the right thing and ask their football coach, Charlie Weis to relinquish his position as the team’s coach. It now makes no sense for him to continue in his role. Over the course of his tenure, this present team and the program overall has not improved, nor have they shown signs of improvement. And to see the decline of this program further under Weis, is a sign that the program’s belief in signing a big time name from the NFL, clearly hasn’t worked out. Pedigree or not , Weis’ failure can squarely placed on the shoulders of the coach and that of his staff.

Weis is seen here after the team’s embarrassing 23-21 loss to Navy ,discussing the game. And now the continued speculation surrounding his future is on the rise, once again.

The talent on this roster, if one can call it that, can be best described as being marginal at best. There has been a preponderance of missteps by Weis and his staff. Now we’re to believe that Weis has steadily improved the program ? If that is the case then what ought we to use as that perceived template ? An appearance in a non descript lower tiered Bowl Game has shown how far the program descended into an abyss of mediocrity. If one looks at the legacy of the Fighting Irish program and that of the achievements of Weis. Then,clearly it shows that this program is a long way off from where it needs to be.

Navy  midshipmen  celebrate the  team's  upset victory of  Notre Dame 23-21 in   game played in South Bend , Ind,.  picuture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/ Darron  Cummings  ............
Navy midshipmen celebrate the team's upset victory of Notre Dame 23-21 in game played in South Bend , Ind,. picuture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings ............

There’s growing dissent amongst the masses but there’s also the view that there ought to be more patience given to Weis in trying to turn the program around. If it means having to further watch the banality of what has been served by Notre Dame in its present format ? Then , the answer has to be undeniably no ! Under Weis, the program has regressed to such an extent. That, in watching this team play, has bordered on being downright monotonous. And for those who are of the belief that the team’s present quarterback, Jimmy Clausen has what it takes to make it at the next level as an NFL quarterback ? Then clearly the signs being shown by Clausen is one of a player, with bright ambition but marginal talent. Leadership wise, Clausen is still in a maturation mode, that has yet to fully meet its potential . The one bright spot may well be the play of the team’s wide receiver Golden Tate and the fact that he’s viewed as a playmaker and ready for the next level in the NFL.

Jimmy  Claussen , second  from the  left  alongside his  teammates  on the  sidelines  watch  as  the Notre  Dame alma mater   song  is  sang  after  the  team's  inexplicable  23-21   loss to  Navy in  a  game  played  in South Bend ,  Indiana ,.   picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings
Jimmy Claussen , second from the left alongside his teammates on the sidelines watch as the Notre Dame alma mater song is sang after the team's inexplicable 23-21 loss to Navy in a game played in South Bend , Indiana ,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Irish Illustrated.com :

The burden of proof lies with Notre Dame

By Tim Prister , IrishIllustrated.com , Senior Editor

Charlie Weis stared in the face of adversity Thursday night-or at least at the thought of the adversity the Irish will face Saturday night in Heinz Field against No. 8-ranked Pittsburgh-and shrugged with nonchalance.

Will the Irish, fighting for their post-season life-and quite possibly their head coach’s future in the program-be a bundle of emotions and play hampered by their own anxiety?

“I think the (Notre Dame) team will be loose,” Weis said. “(We’re) going in as an underdog playing on the road. (We) have more reason to be loose than the other team.

“The other team is a BCS contender, playing at the top of their game. They’re 8-1, 5-0 at home, sold out stadium, raucous crowd, night game, national TV?We’ve been on national TV plenty of times before. This isn’t our first rodeo.”

No, this isn’t Notre Dame’s first rodeo. But in this rodeo, the cowboy will throw his lasso, and if he catches it just right, he will pull the noose tight around the head of the Fighting Irish and tie up Notre Dame’s chance of salvaging a season that turned precarious with one simple loss to Navy last weekend.

To be sure, there is a lot at stake for Dave Wannstedt’s Panthers, who are playing at a level not seen around these parts in nearly three decades. Their defense suffocates teams at the line of scrimmage. Their offense has balance and quick-strike ability in the running and passing games. Wannstedt’s teams are always a threat to block a kick.

Pittsburgh’s BCS bid, however, doesn’t hinge on the outcome of this game. That is connected to the next two games against West Virginia and Cincinnati. The Panthers could lose by four touchdowns to Notre Dame, yet still would land the Big East’s BCS bid with victories over the Mountaineers and the Bearcats. All that would be lost is its quest for a national title, which wasn’t a realistic expectation anyway.

As for the hoopla inside Heinz Field Saturday night, that’s not likely to disturb Pittsburgh’s focus on the matter at hand. No, they’re not accustomed to playing in front of a full house. But the difference between 45,000 fans and 60,000 fans shouldn’t have any bearing on the Panthers. A national television audience? This is 2009. Ho hum.

No, the heat is on the Fighting Irish. If either team is feeling the pressure of the noose around its neck, it is Notre Dame, which is battling to live another day and trying to give their head coach a sixth year in the program.

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Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, middle, is congratulated by safety Jarred Shannon (10), left, and running back John Howell (5) after Navy defeated Notre Dame in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009.   picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Darron Cummings ................
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, middle, is congratulated by safety Jarred Shannon (10), left, and running back John Howell (5) after Navy defeated Notre Dame in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings ................

Charlie Weis, for all of the mistakes made and you have to believe that many have been made. He continues to make the same old excuses for the diatribe that his teams continue to show on the field of play. Now, were this any other coach without the pedigree of being a former NFL assistant of Bill Belichick. Then, it shows that Weis has been given a pass by the AD, Jack Swarbrick and that of the faculty. And clearly,when judged against that of his predecessor, Tyrone Willingham. Then, it clearly shows that there’s something amiss with the policy of the faculty and that of its athletics department. The only reason why Weis is at present being kept in his position , is the mere fact that the faculty and the AD are weighing up the potential financial loss to the athletics’ program. Tens of millions of dollars rolls into the coffers, each season for the university. Much of that came from the interest shown in Weis when it was announced that he was to succeed Tyrone Willingham. And were that money to dry up , it could lead to some sort of call for Weis to be kept in place for the moment , in the hope for things to change for the better. And at this moment in time, those financial positives outweigh that of the negatives on the football field. The thought though, is how much longer can this go on for the fans of the program and that of the boosters ?

Navy fullback Vince Murray (47) runs against  Notre Dame safety Sergio Brown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Navy fullback Vince Murray (47) runs against Notre Dame safety Sergio Brown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings .................

Now clearly, if there’s a case here for Charlie Weis to remain in his position as the coach of the football program.. I for one, cannot find an answer to see how the situation can remain with him in tenure as the program’s coach. Questions have been asked and the answers that have been given thus far has resulted in a mess. The university for its part , has shown nothing more than a passing interest in the predicament that it is now faced with. Money more than anything else, is the clear driving force behind their indecision. And that indecision has led to the morass of denials from all of the parties closest to the situation. Weis is in denial , as too, in large part are the continued supporters of the coach, faculty and the AD. So the course of action now to be taken, is a wait and see method ?

Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate (23) is tackled by Navy tackle Steve Spada (51) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate (23) is tackled by Navy tackle Steve Spada (51) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings ............

The 1,000 pound gorilla in the room, is that of Weis and the belief that he can still be viewed as the savior of the football program. If ever there was a basis in fact that he can still make the program a success. Well ,clearly it has yet to happen. The only thing that we’ve witnessed so far, is the program’s fall from grace and the fact that the excuses are still forthcoming in the support of Charlie Weis. Who not only because of his size but also because of his proclivity to be in denial, as to how far the program has fallen under his tenure. The 1,0000 gorilla in the room is Charlie Weis and the whole world is now beginning to notice that very fact. The voices of dissent are being kept quiet by those who clearly do not want the well to run dry. Mediocrity, it appears and the financial gains that the program is now attaining far outweighs that of common sense. Or could it be that one of the greater mistakes was the fact that Notre Dame signed Weis to an 6 year long contract extension and having to terminate that contract could cost them in excess $30 million ,as well and that of his coaching staff ?

In the midst of this all, it just goes to show how irrational the coach has been. As too, has the faculty and the whole internal organization of the university. The question I’d like to ask of the fans boosters , alumni and die hard apologists of the program. Is what now ? Where’s the program going to go now ? Presently, it’s not going up and it appears the only way is further down into the abyss of mediocrity. Where do you see things going for the program ?