Irish rush to judgment

Originally Published: November 30, 2004
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
Notre Dame panicked. But don't blame Tuesday's firing of football coach Ty Willingham on athletic director Kevin White. This decision was made by the Board of Trustees.

Notre Dame didn't have the patience to allow Willingham time to implement his West Coast offense with upperclassmen or players suitable for the scheme. Notre Dame looked West, saw how Urban Meyer had turned Utah around in two years and wondered, "Why can't we do that here?"

The answer: Because you're Notre Dame, and you don't admit the same players Utah, USC and others are allowed to admit.

Notre Dame mistakenly believes it is only a great coach away from a national title-game berth. That's not the case. Each year Notre Dame loses key recruits to USC and the Florida schools because of academics and geography.

Notre Dame can't do anything about its location, but it can change its coach, and it can change its admission standards -- although it refused to change them for Willingham.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.