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Football: Swarbrick says team will not partcipate in bowl game

Sam Werner | Sunday, December 6, 2009

Notre Dame will not be participating in a bowl game this year, director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said in a statement Friday.

“Notre Dame institutionally always has been a strong advocate of the bowl system, and we sincerely appreciate the bowls and individuals representing them who reached out to us.” Swarbrick said. “However, the unique circumstances surrounding our program at the current time prevent us from making the commitment required to compete in a bowl game. If the landscape had been different, we would have been thrilled to take part — and we certainly look forward to being part of the bowl system in the years to come.”

After a 6-2 start, the Irish lost their last four games to finish 6-6 for the second consecutive season. On Nov. 30, two days after Notre Dame’s season-ending loss to Stanford, Swarbrick announced that Charlie Weis would not be retained as the head coach for next season.

Last year, the Irish went to the Hawaii Bowl to play Hawaii. Notre Dame defeated the Warriors 49-21 for its first bowl win in 15 years. After the loss to the Cardinal, the most likely postseason destinations for the Irish were either the Little Caesers Pizza Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26 or the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 6.

When players spoke to the media after Weis was fired, reaction to a possible bowl game was mixed.

“Obviously I want to get this taste out of my mouth and end on a high note,” senior center Eric Olsen said. “I think it’s a tough situation, especially with younger guys and those who aren’t in the mix for playing. It extends the season even further with finals coming around and we don’t know where it will be or who our opponent is going to be with our 6-6 record. It’s tough to think that Stanford might be the last football game I ever play in my life.”

Even though the Irish will not be playing postseason football, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello will continue to oversee football operations until a new coach is named.