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Notre Dame

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Irish leave out losing seasons in bio of Weis

Weis

Notre Dame’s media guide has a lot of helpful things – except one.

If you’re trying to get a full picture of Charlie Weis’ coaching career and how teams have done while he’s been on staff, you’ll need to do more research.

Notre Dame omitted the losing seasons from Weis’ year-by-year biography on page 15 of the 2009 Spring Prospectus and page 90 of the 2008 football media guide. Among the omissions is the Irish’s 3-9 2007 season.

The 2007 statistics appear on page 91 in the 2008 guide and in the school’s year-by-year history, among other places.

The decision to omit those records goes back to when Weis was hired in 2005 without any prior head coaching experience. Notre Dame’s media relations department said Monday that it treated his coaching history like that of an assistant – only accentuating the positive.

“That’s the way we did it at the time and that’s what we’ve lived with, for the most part,” said Notre Dame senior associate athletics director for media relations John Heisler said. “If you go back, it didn’t necessarily look the same as Bob’s or Tyrone’s or anybody’s. We weren’t trying to make it look identical.”

Other records that are missing include the New England Patriots’ 5-11 season in 2000, the 6-10 year the Patriots had in 1995, the 5-11 year in 1993, a 6-10 campaign with the New York Giants in 1992 and two losing seasons at South Carolina: 5-6 in 1985 and 3-6-2 in 1986.

However, any .500 or better season Weis helped out in, from the 8-4 Gator Bowl season at South Carolina in 1987 to the 10-2 Sugar Bowl year at Notre Dame in 2006, was included.

Heisler said the decision had nothing to do with Weis.

“In a lot of cases those decisions are made on the fly, on deadline pressure,” Heisler said. “Whenever we did that in the beginning for Charlie or whatever, I don’t know that there was a reason why we were trying to go back and make it look like something else.”

Notre Dame has admittedly not been consistent with that information. With Bob Davie, it had an expansive breakdown of years, positions and records – both winning and losing. The media guides under Tyrone Willingham ranged from having some records under “The Tyrone Willingham File” in the 2002 guide to none in the 2004 guide. With Weis, though, it has remained consistent.

“If you look at all those, it probably appeared differently from one year to the next as far as space as much as anything,” Heisler said.

mrothstein@jg.net

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