Notebook: In past, Notre Dame's Jack Swarbrick kept coach's status close to vest

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — As the rumors about the end of the Charlie Weis regime grew louder, more persistent and more real in the fall of 2009, it wasn’t athletic director Jack Swarbrick’s way to clarify the coach’s status to him directly.

“We talked about it once, and I brought it up,” Weis said in an interview with the Tribune well after the firing.

Seventh-year head coach Brian Kelly has been dealing with similar speculation during the team’s 2-4 start, though the sentiments from his detractors are more along the lines that there should be a change at the top, not that there will be.

Weis said he broached the subject on a Monday, five days before the Irish lost their 2009 season finale at Stanford on Nov. 28 to fall to 6-6 in his fifth season on the job.

“I always would stay out on the road recruiting on the West Coast after the final game,” Weis related, “so I said, ‘Hey Jack, I’m a big boy. I need to know what your plans are. If you know what you’re doing now, tell me. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then I know you’re waiting to see how the game goes.’ ”

Swarbrick then revealed to Weis that he was indeed poised to fire the coach after the Stanford game. Weis waited until that Saturday to tell his team and players. He also gave Swarbrick a list of things at the Monday meeting of things he thought would help the next coach.

That included implementing Training Table and fixing Res Life, at the time the disciplinary arm of the university.

Weis confirmed this week that he and Swarbrick haven’t spoken since Weis left Notre Dame.

Redfield dismissed from ND

Since being dismissed from the Irish football team by coach Brian Kelly on Aug. 20, senior safety Max Redfield was hopeful to remain a student at Notre Dame and finish his degree requirements in December.

Saturday on his Instagram account, Redfield claimed the university itself has since dismissed him.

“Because of my dismissal from the NDFB and university, for the past two weeks and including today I am LEGALLY not allowed to be on campus for the first time in almost four years,” he posted. “Devastated doesn't come close to what I am feeling but is good at describing how I've felt for some time now.

“Regardless the love I have for my brothers is unlimited and one of the most consistent things I know. SENDING RELENTLESS LOVE AND PASSION TO MY BROTHERS AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL WHO NEED IT.”

On Aug. 19, Redfield and four other Irish football players were pulled over by an Indiana state trooper about 50 miles south of the Notre Dame campus in Fulton County, Ind.

Redfield was subsequently charged with possession of marijuana and illegal possession of a handgun. Kelly dismissed the incumbent starter at free safety from the football team, for good, the next day.

Redfield has a pre-trial conference scheduled in Fulton County for Wednesday.

Clausen bumped

Former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s debut as a guest analyst Saturday night for ND football was scratched due to a network scheduling change.

NBC spokesperson Alex Rozis said an NHL hockey game, Boston at Toronto, being added late to the NBC Sports Network schedule bumped the scheduled pregame and postgame shows bookending Saturday night’s telecast of Stanford-ND at Notre Dame Stadium.

The game itself was on NBC. Clausen was to appear on NBCSN. Rozis said the hope was they could reschedule Clausen for one of ND’s three remaining NBC-televised games.

Clausen played for the Irish from 2007-09.

The ratings game

Notre Dame’s season opener Sept. 4 at Texas on ABC scored a larger audience (10.945 million viewers) than the three NBC telecasts heading into Saturday night combined pulled in.

Michigan State was the highest rated of the previous NBC-televised games this season (4.987 million viewers), followed by Duke (2.687 million) and Nevada (2.451 million).

The other two games away from Notre Dame Stadium, N.C. State and Syracuse, drew 3.72 million and 2.1 million, respectively.

Scouts honor

Eight NFL teams had reps in attendance Saturday, including Jacksonville Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian. Yes, he’s the brother of former Irish assistant coach and current Nevada head coach Brian Polian.

The other NFL teams taking in ND-Stanford were Houston, Denver, Cleveland, Minnesota, Oakland, the New York Jets and the L.A. Rams.


Notre Dame rolls into a bye week before hosting Miami (Fla.) on Oct. 29. For the record, Kelly is 19-2 in his career in games immediately following an open date, 8-1 at Notre Dame.

The Hurricanes dropped a home game to North Carolina, 20-13, on Saturday.

• Senior right offensive guard Hunter Bivin made his first career start Saturday night, filling in for fellow senior Colin McGovern. The latter missed the game with a lingering ankle injury.

• Freshmen Kevin Stepherson, a wide receiver, and Troy Pride Jr., each made their first career starts Saturday night against Stanford.


Twitter: @EHansenNDI

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick wears reflective gold sunglasses during the Notre Dame-Arizona State NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, inside Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)