The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Going after their guy

Pat Leonard | Friday, December 3, 2004

Set a few more places at the Meyer dinner table. Utah’s head coach has visitors.On Thursday afternoon, local television station WNDU reported that a University plane left South Bend Regional Airport after 3 p.m. carrying athletic director Kevin White and University President-elect Father John Jenkins as passengers.The plane was bound for Salt Lake City.Local television station KUTV said after the plane landed, White and Jenkins got into a black sports utility vehicle without making any comment.Meyer was targeted most likely as the top choice to fill the vacancy left by fired Notre Dame head football coach Tyrone Willingham.The Utah student newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle, said Meyer met with White and Jenkins after Thursday’s Utah practice ended at 4 p.m.The Chronicle also said Meyer told his players following practice what schools were pursuing him. Meyer would not go into specifics when approached by the media.Before the WNDU reports surfaced, Notre Dame assistant athletic director John Heisler would not comment earlier Thursday afternoon on rumors of a meeting.”As Kevin said on Tuesday, regardless of what you may see or what is reported, we don’t get into the business of confirming or denying reports until we’ve hired a head coach,” Heisler said. “We don’t intend to contribute to the ongoing discussion because it doesn’t serve the University’s purposes.”The initial reports surfaced Thursday morning in the New York Times of the scheduled meeting between Notre Dame officials and Meyer.Meyer has Utah at 11-0 and poised to play in a BCS bowl. The second-year Utes’ coach formerly was the head coach at Bowling Green and a wide receivers coach at Notre Dame and Colorado State.The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that Utah is doing everything it can to keep Meyer from returning to South Bend.”We’ve had … conversations, and we’ll continue to do so,” Utah athletics director Chris Hill told the Sun-Times. “All I can tell you is that Urban has done a great job at Utah.””I realize people are going to be interested, and we’ll do everything we can to keep him,” Hill continued. “Right now, things are just out there as rumors and speculation. I don’t want to comment on other jobs and speculate on that. We’ve got a great job here at the university.”