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Time for a bailout

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, November 23, 2008

The current crises in the financial, automotive and real estate sectors of our economy have caused our federal government to consider and implement multiple bailout packages designed to prevent entire industries from failing. James Rohr, Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services, recently spoke at Notre Dame and said the federal government believed that a bailout would prevent total systemic failure. In other words, every sector of the global economy would have been severely impaired without a bailout.Notre Dame needs a bailout. Charlie Weis was outcoached by Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt and Greg Robinson – recently fired after posting a combined 10-36 record at Syracuse. Recall that Notre Dame went into the 4th quarter with no timeouts. Recall also the 2nd and 47 field position on one possession in the 3rd quarter. Finally, consider the bland and increasingly predictable play calling. These examples represent only a few of the many failures in coaching that we’ve seen from Weis. The lone exception, the 2005 USC game, is an anomaly and does not speak to Weis’ general abilities, given his subsequent coaching.The postgame conference was, quite frankly, embarrassing. Weis’ arrogance is well documented, but arrogance is a personality trait generally expected of winners, not of losers. Weis was understandably concerned for his seniors, but his demeanor otherwise was unbecoming of a man who is not only the head coach of the University of Notre Dame, but an alumnus as well. Contentment isn’t quite an apt description, but it comes close.The cost of the bailout is expensive, probably around $24 million, but well worth it. Recent history with coaches Bob Davie and Ty Willingham should have caused Notre Dame officials at the time – including former Athletic Director Kevin White – to have a contingency plan if Weis failed. Notre Dame should be prepared to dismiss Weis. He brings the immediate possibility of total systemic failure to this University. We can’t afford not to fire him. Charlie Weis’ continued failure and inability to successfully coach a team that is by all measures supposed to be very talented puts Notre Dame at tremendous risk. The revenue generated from the football program directly finances every other athletic program on campus. The notoriety from national championships and Heisman Trophy winners has, over the years, allowed Notre Dame to become one of the nation’s premier universities in every tangible aspect. Our intangibles set us apart from everyone else. We risk losing it all.

Ryan HawleysophomoreSiegfried HallNov. 22