Statement from Notre Dame Director of Athletics Kevin White


p. Following is a statement from Kevin White, director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame, concerning the head coaching position of the Notre Dame football team: p. "I have informed Bob Davie today that he will not be retained as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.p. "After talking to Bob, I also have spoken with our football team and assistant coaches. Our assistant coaches understand that a new head coach will select his own staff, but I’ve told them that they will continue as Notre Dame employees at least until that time. I’ve told our players that their welfare during this transition is our number one concern and that our sole focus in the coming search is to bring them a coach who will give them the best possible chance to succeed at Notre Dame, on and off the field.p. "This is difficult for all of us. It is never a pleasant duty to part company. It is no secret to anyone that high expectations come with the job of head football coach at Notre Dame. Those expectations are the product not only of our history and tradition and national following, but also of our institution-wide commitment to excellence in everything that we do. I know there are those who believe it is no longer possible for us to contend for national championships on the field while continuing to win graduation-rate honors, but I don’t accept that premise, nor does anyone involved with athletics at Notre Dame.p. Bob Davie has brought good students and good people to Notre Dame, he has supported and taken an active interest in the academic progress of his players, he has encouraged good citizenship. These are expectations we have of all our coaches in all sports. However, we also expect and intend to excel on the field, and there, unfortunately, our results and progress have been disappointing. A year ago at this time, I believed that we had turned the corner under Bob and that we were prepared to reclaim our traditional standing among the nation’s elite college football programs. Today I no longer can say that.p. The search for a new head coach will begin immediately. I made a commitment to Bob that I would not contact anyone about this job until he had first heard from me concerning his status, and I have honored that commitment. I’ve made no contacts with potential candidates or their employers before now, and I don’t expect to comment on the contacts that we do make during the search. I appreciate the appetite for news about a search of this kind, but you don’t hire good people by negotiating through the media. We all know that the rumor mill has been in operation for many weeks now, and we know that today’s announcement will kick it into overdrive. Let me just state one caution about the rumors and ‘informed sources’ that are bound to surface in the days ahead: As soon as there’s something to report, you’ll hear it from me, but until you hear it from me, anything you might hear will be nothing more than speculation.p. p. _A transcript of Kevin White’s press conference and audio are available at the Notre Dame Athletic Department Web site _

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