According to a news story released earlier this week, Charlie Weis is set to make $24.5 million from Notre Dame and Kansas for under performing as the head coach of both programs.
After choking on the Patriots Way snake oil that Bill Belichick's cronies keep selling to the football world, the Jayhawks coughed up $5.63 million to get rid of Weis after two seasons and four games. By comparison to the $6.4 million Weis was given to get the hell out of South Bend in 2009, and the $2.05 million Notre Dame has paid him every year since, it appears the Jayhawks got off easy.
Even so, all that Irish and Jayhawk money adds up to the insane reality that in 2015 Charlie Weis will make more sitting on his couch with potato chip crumbs on his chest than both Brian Kelly (current N.D. coach) and David Beaty (current KU coach) combined.
For Notre Dame, how in the hell did the Irish Athletic Department ever agree to a contract with such a self destructive severance package? Notre Dame has the wealthy donors, the football program, and the backing to cater to this borderline extortion, I guess.
And people want to throw a fit over players wanting to be paid to play...
For Kansas football on the other hand, this Weis story is just the latest result of a very expensive bad habit that the 'Hawks need to break.
Weis was the third coach in row that the Jayhawks' AD had to cut a massive check just get them to leave town. It's becoming the best retirement plan in the country to make your way to Lawrence and be terrible.
Before hiring David Beaty, Sheahon Zenger's phone at the University of Kansas must have been ringing off the hook with college football coaching burnouts. "Mr. Zenger, this is Ty Willingham..." "This is John Makovic..." "Hal Mumme..." "This is... Bill Callahan!"
I didn't like the Weis hire the day it was made. I understood why Kansas thought it could work. For as much maligned as the man was by the time he was shown the door in South Bend, Weis only had one losing season in five as Irish coach. He was the main reason Matt Cassel resembled an NFL quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010. Maybe a fresh start at a less football crazed school was just what the coach needed to really get going. I get the move. I didn't like the hire in part, because it's rare to see pro coaches have success in the college game and vice versa, but more so because the Jayhawks needed to take a long, hard look at finding the right coach after the premature removal of Mark Mangino in 2009, and the subsequent disastrous two years with one Turner Hillery Gill. The Weis hire seemed like a rush to spend money on a big name. Nothing says you're trying like landing a coach people have heard of!
I would have gladly eaten crow had Weis come into Lawrence and put together, at the least, near .500 squads. Instead we got a guy who had no answers.
Perhaps that's why we're seeing these massive and insane payouts given to canned coaches like Weis. There's just too many unknowns in the coaching profession. Before a coach ever puts on a school's hat, seems like these days they aren't signing that contract until they know the money is locked up, future success, mediocrity, or abject failure be damned. In truth, that's probably fair. The late Houston Oilers' coach, Bum Phillips, used to say, "There's two kinds of coaches. Them that's fired, and them that's gonna be fired." For $24.5 million, seems like "them that's fired" have it far better off. I know personal pride is involved and all, but this isn't even close to a sad story for Weis.
The bulk of the ridicule with regard to this Weis payout story should be reserved for Notre Dame and Kansas. They're the ones who made it a reality. They say everyone has to pay for their mistakes. In Weis' case, two schools' mistakes just paid for a comfortable retirement.
You live. You learn. And sometimes you pick up a 24.5 million dollar tab to make it all just go away...