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November 30, 2008

Swarbrick, Weis to meet...a week from Monday

LOS ANGELES-Reporters hoping to get the lowdown from Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick following Notre Dame's 38-3 loss to USC were surprised to here that a meeting with Charlie Weis wasn't pressing business.

Swarbrick made it sound as if they would chat whenever their paths crossed.

With Swarbrick tending to business in California and Weis hitting the recruiting trail, as many as nine days could pass before they hook up for a discussion.

"Our normal course is to meet every Monday we're in town," Swarbrick said. "I'm on my way to California and he's on his way recruiting. So neither of us is in town this Monday. I assume it will be a week from Monday before we're both back in town."

Asked if the total of Weis' buyout-which IrishIllustrated.com learned is at least $10 million-would factor into the decision to keep or replace him, Swarbrick said, "You're assuming that that's what is going on. We are engaged in the process of reviewing a program and we're asking ourselves, 'How do we make it better?' There may be a host of answers to that."

Asked if money would ever get in the way of something he wanted to accomplish as athletics director, Swarbrick joked: "Yes, if my wife wants to buy something, money gets in the way."

Turning serious, Swarbrick added: "As a university, we make our decisions based on what's in the best interest of the students. We do that in sports, we do that in academics, and we do that in residence life. What's in the best interest of the students, or in this case, student-athletes."

Swarbrick said several variables come into play when evaluating all coaches at Notre Dame.

"We look at a host of factors, from graduation rates to GPA to student input...It's the only way to do it," Swarbrick said. "We review all programs the same way. That's what we do.

"There's no guarantee for the women's soccer coach who is on his way to the Final Four next weekend. We sit down and evaluate every program the same way at the end of the season."

Pushed again to respond to when he would meet with Weis, Swarbrick said, "The next Monday that we're both in town. I'm gone all week too. Nothing will happen until we complete the entire review process. We do that within regular course. It doesn't assume something will happen.

"There are some times we miss (meeting) when we're both out of town. We're not in town this Monday. I think we'll both be in town next Monday and we'll meet then."



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