Wednesday, December 08, 2004

And he'll take the integrity with him . . .

This is extraordinary: Rev. Edward Malloy, outgoing president of Notre Dame, blasted the University for its handling of Tyrone Willingham. Here are two prime cuts from the article on

"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," Malloy said. "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."

* * *
"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."

Malloy will retire in June and so he did not vote on Willingham's future. The Monk wonders whether Malloy could have said more in Willingham's defense, but it seems that the new President and the AD wanted to put their own stamp on the program.

Apparently Malloy had a meeting with White, Jenkins and numerous Trustees and the feeling was that UND needed what Malloy called a "messiah" coach who could return the program to its glory. The participants also seem to have thought that up to three such coaches were available in this offseason (Urban Meyer of Utah and Bobby Petrino of Louisville are the most prominent names). So UND wanted to strike fast and hard. By this standard, it failed miserably: Florida signed Meyer, Petrino is staying at Louisville. So ultimately UND has Ty Willingham's firing that disgraces it, a lack of a messiah coach that frustrates it and a former-to-be president that publicly excoriates it. Bad, bad and worse for the GoldenDomers.

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