|Friday, December 14
Updated: December 15, 2:51 PM ET
Irish learn elementary lesson
By Mike Golic
Special to ESPN.com
I'm shocked. The people I spoke with and the first reports I read cited him lying about earning letters as the reason for George O'Leary's resignation as head football coach of Notre Dame. My first thought was that there's no way he would resign over inaccuracies in earning a monogram.
It later was revealed that it's about the academics and the fact that O'Leary lied about his education -- and, in fact, doesn't have his master's degree -- and carried out that lie on for so many years.
O'Leary stated that this was an embarrassment to the school, alumni and fans and handed in his resignation -- Notre Dame accepted it.
To hire someone with something like this looming in his history is unfortunately an embarrassment for Notre Dame. Certainly you have to dot your i's and cross your t's when hiring someone as a head coach. That's a tough lesson to learn, especially at a school like Notre Dame that's under a microscope all of the time.
Having your new head football coach resign after five days is a bit of a black eye, but Kevin White will put it on his shoulders, go back out and try and find a new coach. And I don't expect the search to last an extra month while they're doing an FBI background check. As far as Notre Dame is concerned, there's a sense of urgency for recruiting and getting a head coach in place.
White may be more cautious and his questions may be more direct to be sure everything is on the up-and-up. But really, what do you do differently? Do you flat out ask the candidates if they have any skeletons in their closet? Is it up to Notre Dame to find this out? Is it up to them to ask or for the new coach to be up front? This is a new one for me. I don't know.
Coaching candidates may resurface and guys who turned down the job may possibly reconsider -- White may make a call to see if any situations have changed. Certainly, the whole controversy of Notre Dame's interest in hiring a minority coach may surface again. I still think you go for the best candidate. Keep in mind, there are a lot of stipulations to consider -- are they under contract, is there a big buyout, and do they want to go? Some would jump at the opportunity to coach at Notre Dame, others are happy where they are.