SportsProf

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Why Did Notre Dame Fire Ty Willingham?

or, why did they hire Charlie Weis? And then give him a new 10-year deal 7 games into his first season?

Well, no one is happy with the Irish's 2-9 start, especially coming off two great recruiting years. So what's Weis going to do? He's going to review his problems with his former colleagues at the New England Patriots.

He's got to do something. Funny, but I don't sense the feeding frenzy over Weis's problems that I sensed over the last season Ty Willingham coached in South Bend. Why is that?

And how long will Notre Dame let these problems continue, contract or no contract?

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

because Notre Dame doesn't like black people...you moron

3:35 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

There's no room for uncivil discourse on this blog, as some people have standards for civility, which you apparently do not.

The question was a rhetorical one that was designed to generate intelligent and intelligible responses. Working through your lack of manners, I have this question to ask: then why does it recruit so many African-American players? Your comment and the Notre Dame roster don't seem to square up, do they?

Unless you're willing to provide meaningful discourse, take your dyspepsia elsewhere.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why? Because Ty wasn't making anywhere near the effort that Coach Weis has to date to do what it takes to be the HC at ND.
Recruiting was going down the tubes. All the jokes were that Ty would rather be on the golf course than out on the recruiting trail. Ty never made needed coaching changes - even you have to admit that picking up CB was a great move. It will be interesting to see what changes in this offseason now - but you can bet that there WILL be change. And did you hear that little fact of how FEW seniors and 5th yrs we have? Yeah, Ty worked hard to set the team up for failure at some point. Just relax...the coming seasons - as these current players mature and better kids come in - might be the best in a logn, long time.

8:43 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Read ESPN the Magazine re: Charlie's trials and tribulations. Sophs who transfer, poor game management, losses to Navy and Air Force. It might be a young team, but Charlie hasn't distinguished himself with all the talent he's recruited in the past two years. Also, it was premature to give him a 10-year deal based only on 7 games. As for Ty, it's not so much what he did or didn't do, but what prompted the question was that the record of the Fighting Irish this year is plum awful. You might be right about preaching patience, but patience isn't a long suit in South Bend.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beleve RACE had something to do with Willingham's early departure and the criticism he received at ND and the Media even since his departure, But very little credit for Weis first two good years, when you look at it in context and Weis receiving a 10 year contract before proving himself and Willingham got a pat on the back at the same point and a BOOT to the rear end at this point with a better record. If it smells like a Duck, sounds like a Duck, Walks like a Duck, Swims like a Duck. And plays football like a Duck. I believe it's a Duck. We can debate over the type of Duck, Or if Weis will eat the Duck but it's a Duck. Even if you put lipstick on it, it's still a duck. This man can't coach. Genius, KICK THE FIELD GOAL!!!

It was the FIRST time it happended at Notre Dame, 3 years into a 5 year contract to let Willingham go like that for the reason they stated and then give Weis a pass despite having MORE of a reason based on their own words, read them. THIS YEAR WAS EMBARRASSING 43 YEARS!!! DOWN THE DRAIN! The only reason Army didn't beat ND was because they did't have a team and I bet you they could have given'em a run for there money. The Silience is Deafening. Midway through the season when the train wreck was obvious many made excuses and blamed Willingham. The effects of Race in decisions can be suttle. It took years to get Black QB's and Coaches remmeber once they broke into the game where there were plenty of Black players but hardly any QB's or Coaches, so the presence of blacks playing at ND does not eliminate race playing a part in other decisions. ALSO Reverse it, I BET you if you could reverse it and Wies was fired first with Willingham's 3 yr. record during a 5 year contract and Willingham followed him with Wies's current record MANY would be saying the only reason they are not firing Willingham is becuase of Race. The ND faithful would be RIOTING. HEADS would Role.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, it's hard to justify the 10 year deal for Weis, but Ty's firing seems a bit easier to understand.

Willingham was apparently beginning negotiations with Washington before he was fired by ND. This alone, would make me consider firing the guy, no matter what his record was at the time.

The second reason is a bit more difficult to explain. Willingham was not a "Notre Dame guy." Maybe some examples will help: ND guys - Tim Brown, Lou Holtz, Gerry Faust, Rocket Ismail. Not ND guys - Rick Mirer, Ricky Watters, Dan Devine, Bob Davie. Just saying this leaves oneself open to the usual complaints about ND thinking it's better than everyone else, but other schools no doubt have their own kind of guys. ND guys understand the tradition and respect it. They understand that they play and coach solely for the sake of the University and no one cares about their own individual glory. They understand that the institution and its integrity are bigger than they are. This is an attitude that comes out just in interviews, not to mention in conduct. Unfortunately, Willingham came up short in this area. Impressive and squared away? Yes, but just not an ND guy.

Is Weis a Notre Dame guy? He certainly seems to understand the tradition and the legacy with which he's been entrusted. He also seems to understand the role of integrity. His reported arrogant attitude, however, is questionable. His response to this season will probably go a long way in determining if he is the right kind of guy.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the people who want to play the RACE card, the one thing they are ignoring is that NO NFL teams were sniffing around the back door to hire Ty away like they were doing with Charlie. Say what you want about the similar records and all, but their situations are not equal when you include all internal and external factors.

Oh, and Ty was a horrible recruiter. Six offensive linemen over a three year period. And people wonder why the offensive line has struggled all year. Try playing your freshmen and sophomores against your opponents' experienced juniors and seniors and see what happens.

6:47 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Good points, Golden Domers. I'm not saying that Ty was the answer, as he didn't seem to fit in. It's just that N.D. seemed so starved for a winner that it might have acted prematurely in giving Charlie Weis his 10-year deal. Give credit to Weis for acknowledging that there are problems and for looking for answers. The ultimate issue is whether some guys are pro guys and some guys are college guys. Dennis Erickson is a college guy, as perhaps is Bobby Petrino. It could prove to be the case that Weis is a pro guy, but we're years away from seeing that.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

race had everything to do with the hiring and firing of Ty Willingham. first of all they hired him so that Willingham could recruit blue chip black atheles. that has always been his forte. but even Coach Willingham found it very difficult to recruit top flight black atheletes to the racist environment that surrounds South Bend. so they fired him and blamed it on a few loses. but if that was truly the case as to why they fire coaches then why is Charlie's fat ass still in South bend? because he is white and Ty is black.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Marcus M. said...

Above "anonymous" is clueless. The top two jobs on ND's football staff below head coach (that of offensive and defensive coordinators) are occupied by outstanding black coaches. The environment in South Bend is no more racist than any other, though something tells me the above poster has never been there to see that for him/herself.

Willingham had not been having success recruiting, wasn't having success on the field, and had asked to speak to Washington about a new position. Enter the perceived availability of Urban Meyer at the time, and you get Ty's dismissal. If ND had known that Meyer had already committed to Florida, they probably wouldn't have been so quick to fire Ty. Then again, they'd just watched five years of mediocrity with Davie, so their lack of patience is also understandable.

In case you missed it, none of the above had anything to do with Ty being black.

And now the real losers figure to be UW. A lot of folks are calling for Ty's head, and rightfully so given the direction things are going right now. But it would be a media disaster for them to fire Ty after "only" three years. Hell, the folks at ESPN who love to villify ND for Ty's dismissal would probably band together to pay the administration at UW to keep him for two years, lest it come out that maybe, just maybe, he's just not that great of a coach and ND wasn't wrong for firing him.

I hope Ty shows tremendous improvement next year at UW. He's brought in some talent, but in the (admittedly few) games I've watched of UW's, it seems he still makes the same mistakes that he did at ND with respect to adjustments at half-time, or the lack thereof. His team's start well, but don't finish, and that could be his undoing.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10/25/2008 - Notre Dame at Washington: A Charlie Weis team at year 4 vs a Ty Willingham team at year 4. ND 33 Wash 7 (and it wasn't even that close). ND fired Ty because he is a horrible football coach and it was clear to everyone in South Bend that Ty is a loser. Coaches are measured in wins, losses, "what does the product look like", and recruiting - not pigment. (I am not a Charlie Weis fan either, but at least he's no Ty Willingham). Ty was bought out in year 3 of a 6 year contract, using language he agreed to, leveraging the "year 3 opt-out."

11:15 AM  
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10:34 AM  
Anonymous Buy Cialis said...

I don't know man, Ty was made it a good work, well maybe not the optimum but a good one, it's OK the man have talent, soon he find a new team.

9:13 AM  

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