You can say the buzzards are really circling Charlie Weis now, as Notre Dame suffers yet another defeat, a 27-22 loss to Pittsburgh that leaves the Irish at 6-4. So it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion amongst many media circles that Charlie will be saying sayonara to South Bend at season’s end.
However, letting Weis go is not just a matter of a simple “Sorry, Charlie,” as he’s pushed out the door. Such a move would actually be very costly for Notre Dame.
Matt Hayes of SPORTING NEWS points out that if Weis is canned, ND would owe Charlie $18 million for the remaining six years on his contract, plus another $1 million for the guaranteed contracts of his assistant coaches. That can buy a lot of gold paint for the helmets.
However, you can argue that keeping Weis around could also cost the school millions. If he continues with a mediocre on-field product, fans won’t be in a such a rush to buy tickets (and the accompanying concessions & merchandise) - and NBC & its advertisers won’t be so pleased as ratings for Irish home games continue to fall.
And let’s not forget the bonanza of big bowl revenue:
Notre Dame has two games remaining this season: home next week versus Connecticut and the season finale Nov. 28 at Stanford. With a win in one of those two games, the Irish likely will play in the Gator Bowl. Two wins could mean a game in the Cotton Bowl, and two losses likely means a spot in the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
From BCS glory to garlic dipping sauce? That’s not good.
ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that economics wouldn’t be a factor in whether to fire or keep Weis. More empty seats, less t-shirts sold & smaller overnight numbers should change all that.