Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Wow | by Jay

More fallout: Monk goes nuclear.

Frankly, I'm stunned that he would say something like this in the middle of a coaching search.

EDIT: Here's the full text. Read and discuss.

By Darren Rovell

NEW YORK -- Notre Dame president Rev. Edward Malloy said on Wednesday that he was upset about how his university fired Irish football coach Tyrone Willingham last week.

"In my 18 years, there has only been two days that I've been embarrassed to be president of Notre Dame," said Malloy, who was speaking a panel at the Sports Business Journal's Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. "Tuesday and Wednesday of last week."

In his three seasons of coaching Notre Dame, Willingham was 21-15. Malloy said he was not part of the decision-making process because he will retire in June.

"I thought we were going to abide by our precedent, which was a five-year window for a coach to display a capacity to be successful within our system and to fit. Both [athletic director Kevin White] and I have a very high regard for [Tyrone Willingham]. Having lost to Southern Cal, we had a meeting called by my successor [John I. Jenkins] with a strong presence of the Board of Trustees, which led to a result."

Malloy said he didn't fault anyone in particular in the process, acknowledging that there was a lot of pressure to make a decision, including the thought that the next great coach might have been available to the school.

"There was also the phenomenon of the messiah coach," Malloy said. "Everybody wants to be on the A-list. This year, I think there are 14 college football positions that have changed or are changing. There are probably three people that are on the messiah list, which means 11 programs have no messiah."

Utah coach Urban Meyer was a Notre Dame assistant, but chose to sign a contract with the University of Florida instead. Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci said he was contacted by the school, but chose to stay in the motor city. Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino was also contacted by the Irish, but announced on Tuesday that he is staying with the Cardinals.

"Notre Dame will get a coach," Malloy said. "I hope that person does well. But I think the philosophical hit that we have taken is a significant one. I am not happy about it. And I do not assume responsibility for it. I think it was the wrong move and the fact that other schools have made similar choices after three years suggests that they are feeling the same pressures that we are."

"All the good coaches who get fired will get another job, in college or pro," Malloy said. "Their future is not at risk, but what happens in the transition is that the institutions get tarnished in ways that I think in the long run we pay a huge price."