Word out of South Bend, Indiana is that new coach Charlie Weis (former Offensive Coordinator of the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots) has inked a new 10-year contract to coach the Fighting Irish football team.
It seems that the Irish's 5-2 record (losses to Michigan State and #1 USC) has inspired the administration, alumni and trustees to extend the tenure of Weis. The Irish have beaten Pittsburgh (one of the worst teams in the nation), Michigan (having a down year with 3 losses already), and several other mediocre teams. The Irish have not yet beaten a quality team this year. Why does any of this matter? Simple. Another coach walked down this path not too long ago.
That coach is presently leading the Washington Huskies. He began his career in the NFL with Dennis Green and the Minnesota Vikings and worked closely with the coach of the NFL's remaining undefeated team (Tony Dungy - Indianapolis Colts)...That coach began his college coaching career with the Stanford Cardinal and consistently won big games that his team should have lost. He was offered the gig at Notre Dame when everyone else turned the job down. He was offered the job when one candidate was found to have fabricated his resume. And he started his career 8-0...
And he beat an elite national power ON THE ROAD - but was not offered a ten-year contract extension...That coach's name is Tyrone Willingham.
The contract extension offer to Weis says Notre Dame is willing to accept the chance of prolonged mediocrity under a white coach - and they were unwilling to accept the chance of sustained excellence under a black coach. At similar points in their coaching tenure, the university elected to move in diametrically related directions.
I'm sure there's a story of merit in there somewhere. It is not discernable to the naked or experience eye, but it must be there, because if it's not there, then the cynics will carry the day.