Granted, I do not hold any official affiliation with the University of Notre Dame beyond being an alumnus, but you’re fired nonetheless. From this point forward, HerLoyalSons.com will not recognize you as the Athletic Director of the University of Notre Dame. And while we may continue to discuss the office of the Athletic Director of the University of Notre Dame, we will no longer refer to you personally. Merely on principle, you do not deserve the distinction, and now that you’re fired, it’s simply impractical to supply you with that distinction.
Knowing full well that an Athletic Director, even one with your mind-blowing ineptitude for contract negotiations, would have some clause in his or her contract about only eliminating you from the payroll for cause, we supply you with these items:
- The stupefying way in which you handled the elimination of Bob Davie from the position of Head Football Coach, University of Notre Dame.
- The pain you put the Notre Dame Football Program through as you handled the search for a new Head Coach of Football with all the competence of a McDonald’s Drive-Thru Cashier who can’t figure out the illustrated buttons on his register.
- The embarrassment you brought on the University of Notre Dame, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni when it was discovered that you did, in fact, not actually do your freaking job and make sure George O’Leary’s resume wasn’t a total lie before announcing him as Head Coach, Notre Dame Football.
- The hurried, and pathetic way in which you let Tyrone Willingham con you into believing that “you need him” as the Head Football Coach of the University of Notre Dame.
- The profoundly myopic new deal you agreed to with the BCS, essentially costing the program money (your golden god, ironically), every time our miraculously competent new coaching staff leads the Notre Dame football team to a BCS game.
- The way you acted like a 4 year old child with a tendency to avoid confrontation when it became clear to all involved with Notre Dame that Tyrone Willingham had no business coaching the Notre Dame Football Program, or any other Football Program for that matter.
- The bush-league “Sunday-Friday” comments about Tyrone Willingham, that equated Notre Dame, a place for which you do not hold any real love, to so many “football factories,” and gave every two-bit journalist and columnist the juiciest sound-byte for which they could have ever dreamed.
- The miserable execution on your part in replacing Tyrone Willingham, including, but not limited to the laughable way you handled the Urban Meyer situation, the lack of fore-thought and planning that went into your coaching search, and the fact that Florida wasn’t just a few days ahead of you, but darn near an entire season ahead of you.
- The shoddy introduction of Coach Weis as our head coach, including the fact that the “ND” backdrop looked like it had just been removed from it’s plastic pouch, unfolded, and hung up behind Weis 10 minutes before the presser. Did it smell mildewy too? I’ve got 15 year old camping tarps that look better.
- The insistence that Notre Dame is in the midst of an “arms race” with other programs, without any recognition on your part that, while technically that may be true, Notre Dame is still Notre Dame, and what makes Notre Dame special is also what allows Notre Dame to participate in that arms race without having to lower itself to some “level playing field” in which Notre Dame Stadium would ever need box seats or a jumbotron.
- Failing in the so-called “brand management” arena, and allowing Adidas to hold Michigan as a “most favored nation.”
- (Update: Apparently the Michigan AD “gets it” when it comes to doing his job.)
- Q: How important was the favored program clause? Martin: Very important, if they raise the cap. They may say, hey, no problem, we’re not going to pay anybody else any more than this. I don’t know. But over an 8-year period, there’s a chance that will happen. I couldn’t get that from Nike. I wanted it, and they said they would guarantee we’d have the highest contract at the time the contract was signed.
Q: It’s interesting to me how much that particular clause has meant to your fans. It’s gotten a lot of buzz.
Martin: Did it? That’s a pride factor. Nobody is going to be better than us. I’m glad they recognize that, because it was important to me. It makes me feel like I did my job.
- The utter failure to realize that “barnstorming” doesn’t mean heading off to some neutral field, insisting on controlling the gate and TV revenue, and playing shoddy, back-water teams which only open you up to the potential of losing to those shoddy, back-water teams, thus leveling more embarrassment upon a program that you neither love nor “get.”
That last item is, ultimately, the straw that effectively buried an already dead, decimated, and decaying camel. Your only motivation is money, and this 7-4-1 schedule system, where we play one “neutral” site a year, is transparent to the point that even a Michigan grad can see right through it. Your intent isn’t to help recruiting, or the program’s exposure, or fans’ and the alumni’s ability to see a Notre Dame game. All you see are dollar signs. And, as with just about everything you’ve done at Notre Dame, you’ve handled this with a clumsy hand and a near-sighted vision. Why can’t we work out a deal to play the real behemoths of the college football world in these “barnstorming” games? What, we actually need the money? One of the highest value brands in the entire sports world couldn’t afford to split ticket money and TV revenue to effectively create, and place itself into, an annual “must see” game? That wouldn’t help recruiting? That wouldn’t provide the Notre Dame brand with an extra boost? Have you no idea how much begrudging respect that sort of behavior would derive from the rest of the sporting world?
The first response you’d probably have to this idea is that “it can’t be done.” And then you’d throw out contractual obligations, league rules, etc… as excuses. But that’s the very heart of your problem, and what has ultimately gotten you fired. You’ve approached pretty much every dealing with any party as the beggar. I can’t think of a single time you’ve stood up and said, “We’re Notre Dame, dammit, and if you want to get to work with us, you’ll work by our terms. Otherwise, go screw yourself. We’ll just take the next person in line.”
And as a result, Mr. White, you’re fired.
Thanks and have a nice day,
Her Loyal Sons
PS – Before you check with HR to see how much vacation time you’ve got accumulated, remember saying this?
“We’re not looking to play any more heavyweights. We have enough on the schedule. We have to have a schedule that’s conducive to success. Take a look at the people who are winning national titles in the last five, six years, and look at their strength of schedules. That’s the kind of schedule we need to emulate. We don’t need to schedule over the top. To have the No. 1-2-3 strength of schedule and finish 15th or 18th in the country is not what we’re trying to do. We need to schedule in a way to put us in position to win national championships. We could have a great football team and schedule ourselves out of a national championship. That last time I checked, the most important thing here is to win national championships.”
I’d say you’ve taken all your vacation time in La La Land, Kev. Go look at our future schedules, consider the “reality of the landscape” for a moment, and realize how laughable this statement is. Not only do you not understand Notre Dame, you don’t understand how the rest of the college football world, including the media and poll voters, regards Notre Dame.
We fixed the glitch.