Oct. 30, 2005
Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis met with the media briefly on Sunday, Oct. 30, to talk about the contract extension he signed on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Coach Weis: “Obviously everyone is here today because yesterday we announced that we ripped up the remaining five years of my original contract and added an extra five years so that after this year we would have 10 years left.
“When I first came here, I made it pretty evident from the day I walked in the door, when I was offered this job and we made the family decision to take this job, we were doing it on a permanent basis. Not on a quick fix or to buy some time to go somewhere else.
“One of the critical factors in me taking this job was being able to put my family in a situation where everyone was happy. Where Maura was happy, where Charlie was happy, where Hannah was happy and if they are all happy then I am happy.
“One of the things we were concerned with, with Charlie going into seventh grade, was moving him from school to school and not giving him the opportunity to be set up for the rest of his life academically. We made the decision coming here that a great place for him to go to school would be Notre Dame. By ripping up the last five years of the contract, or I should say extending the contract for an extra five years, it allows me to get through the time frame where Charlie would be able to graduate from college and hopefully, at that time, I can be able to, in a short time afterward, move away from football and spend the rest of my time with my family.
“This allows me to take care of Maura, Charlie and Hannah and become a permanent fixture while at the same time erasing any doubts of my intent – which was clearly stated the day I walked in the door.”
On expecting the rumors about any future in the NFL…
Coach Weis: “The week of the first bye, Kevin (White) and I sat down and I said there would be a possibility that people would start talking about things like (the NFL). I wanted to confirm to him that he never had to worry about there being any interest on my part.
“The problem with that is, as the season goes on, it becomes more problematic the more it is brought up. It can have a negative effect on recruiting. It has a negative effect on the people you are around. We wanted to nip that in the bud. I told Kevin in the first bye week that we would re-visit it the week of the second bye week because I would never talk about anything like this other than if it was a bye week because I think it would be a distraction.
“Between Kevin, Father Jenkins, Phil Purcell and the Board of Trustees, our lawyers and our Sports Information people, everyone worked together with my family and Bob LaMonte and we decided to get this out of the way now and erase any doubt. My intent was the same from the day I got here. I said the same thing from day one and anyone that has been around me. When I say it, I mean it. I don’t just say it for idle chatter. This puts and end to any of those questions/rumors.”
On if he was asked any questions about his future while recruiting…
Coach Weis: “No, but you know they are there. Anytime people put out stories that are unsubstantiated, regardless of where they are coming from, they have to be addressed sooner or later. The best thing to do was to make it sooner, rather than later and get it out of the way. What this does, we no longer have to worry about that being a distraction. I am not big on distractions. I don’t want to be a distraction and yesterday I eliminated myself from being a distraction.
On a follow up question to the timing of his discussion with Kevin White…
“Kevin (White) and I visited the first bye week. I wanted to reiterate my intention and my loyalty to him and to Notre Dame. I said, `Once I make a commitment, it is a commitment. I will never get involved with talking about any of these things, with contracts, because I am just a football coach.’ That is why I hired an expensive agent. I think LaMonte will like hearing that.
“I don’t understand the inner-workings of things. I just know that I didn’t want it to become a distraction to Notre Dame football and the University of Notre Dame. Because between Kevin, our lawyers and my agent, they were able to come to an extension that allows me to do the kind of things I wanted to do from the start without having to wonder what I am going to do in six years when my contract is up. I am now in that boat where I know I will be able to work and they will not run me out of here until Charlie graduates. If they want to run me out of here then, they can.”
On if a raise was part of the extension…
Coach Weis: “Money was never an issue. You can always make more money in the NFL than you can in college. If you are going for money, the thing to do is go to the NFL.
“It is important when you are doing things like this to set your priorities. What is the most important thing? For those that know me, they know the more important thing to me is my family and being true to your word. I have been both good to my family and true to my word at the same time without this being about money.
“In the last 24 hours, I have heard zillions of dollars of differences between the lowest end and the highest end. It really is irrelevant. If it was about money, I would be coaching in the NFL.”
On if the extension fits in with his goal-oriented philosophy…
“I am goal-oriented but I am more loyal than anything else. This isn’t just any job for me. This is my alma mater. When I came here, the thought of people thinking that I was here for a short time fix – those type of things do effect me. It is very important for me to be loyal to this University. They stepped up and hired me and I thought that I should reciprocate.”
On if he keeps track of issues like this…
Coach Weis: “You have to be aware of everything and realize where the biggest impact could come into play. I think the biggest impact in this case would be recruiting, negative recruiting. I am not big on negative recruiting. Every prospect that I have ever talked to will tell you that I will say to them, `I am here to represent Notre Dame, not to talk about another school.'”
“By that being out there, it allowed that uncertainty to be there. What is he really going to do? Now you know who you are going to play for your entire college career. It erases that uncertainty and actually, it flips that uncertainty to a strong plus as far as Notre Dame and Charlie Weis are concerned.”