Chucky Rumors (Second Warning)

November 26th, 2008
Joe is convinced that the fourth estate will very soon be awash in unfounded Chuck-to-Notre Dame rumors.

Joe is convinced that the fourth estate will very soon be awash in unfounded Chucky-to-Notre Dame rumors.

Remember when Joe cautioned Bucs fans about potential Chucky-to-Notre Dame rumors? Well Bucs fans, they are about to start aplenty.

If Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune is to be believed, the death knell for the Charlie Weis era at Notre Dame is about to begin.

Joe pointed out that Weis largely got the Notre Dame job as a result of being a cheating slob. Then, when Weis brought the Irish to the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State, the Domers were so infatuated with Weis that they gave him an insane 10-year, $20 million contract.

Since, the luster has greatly worn off Weis to an extent that it’s corroded.

The Irish have sunk to a level no one could have fathomed, which included home losses in consecutive seasons to Navy and arguably the worst Division-I program in the nation: Syracuse. Weis has lost more games in the past two years than any coach in Notre Dame’s long and glorious history.

Domers were so upset at the Syracuse loss that they pelted their team with snowballs.

This Saturday, Weis and the Irish travel to Los Angeles to play their bitter rivals and arguably the nation’s top team, USC. It could get very ugly as Weis boasted to his team when he took the Notre Dame job he would never lose to USC. In fact, the opposite has happened. Weis has never beaten USC.

And trust Joe, USC coach Pete Carroll uses that as ammunition each year.

The common perception of Weis’ buyout is not accurate. Multiple sources have told the Tribune the buyout, far smaller than believed, will not affect whether Notre Dame decides to fire Weis after Saturday’s game at USC. One prominent alumnus called the amount “loose change.”

Weis’ base salary from July 2006-June 2007 was $598,000, according to the Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette. The newspaper cited figures from Notre Dame’s federal 990 tax form, which requires the school to list its five highest-paid employees.

Weis’ contract likely calls for annual increases to his base salary. If that average rises to $650,000, the seven-year buyout would be about $4.5 million.

It has been reported Weis’ annual compensation package is worth between $3 million-$4 million, which includes money from speaking appearances, media contracts and apparel deals. Some industry sources dispute that figure, saying Weis’ total package is closer to $2 million-$2.5 million.

Whatever the case, a consensus is building among sources with ties to Notre Dame that Weis is in danger of being fired after four seasons.

“He has built zero relationships at the school,” one source said. “It has been all about him and his ego.”

What does this have to do with Chucky?

Chucky’s dad, Jim Gruden, used to be an assistant at Notre Dame under Dan Devine. Chucky graduated from Clay High School in South Bend. And Chucky has made no secret that he grew up loving Notre Dame. So much so Chucky had an alarm clock that played the Notre Dame fight song.

Even as a Bucs coach, Chucky has made it known, “I love Notre Dame.”

But that is as far as it will go. Joe doesn’t believe there is a snowball’s chance Notre Dame will want Chucky. After getting burned badly by an NFL coach (Weis), the Domers aren’t going to turn around and hire another one after the Weis Experiment has blown up in their faces. They won’t even sniff Chucky’s resume.

That said, Joe firmly believes Chucky’s agent will flood many reporters’ e-mail inboxes with “inside information” that Chucky is talking with Notre Dame officials. Why? Leverage.

The Glazer Boys have already fired a coach for losing first round playoff games in successive seasons. Who’s to say the Glazer Boys won’t can Chucky if the Bucs lose (again) in their first playoff game, or worse: miss the playoffs entirely? Chucky’s agent will float the Gruden-to-Notre Dame rumors as a ploy to get Chucky’s contract with the Bucs extended.

From a business standpoint, that’s smart.

Joe wants to be perfectly clear: Joe doesn’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in the depths of hell of Chucky being hired by Notre Dame short of him working for minimum wage. But that won’t stop the rumors whatsoever.

And the rumors, if Weis is canned next week, will be a virtual tsunami.

Joe has warned you. Again.

4 Responses to “Chucky Rumors (Second Warning)”

  1. Eric Hundin Says:

    I found your blog on MSN Search. Nice writing. I will check back to read more.

    Eric Hundin

  2. Homer Simpson Says:

    Gruden was the one who contacted ND.

  3. Jon Says:

    Joe —

    You are an extraordinary idiot.

  4. Shawn Says:

    Chucky Rumors (Second Warning) – Tampa Bay Bucs Football was interesting. You seem very knowledgeable in package deals to.