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Notre Dame unlikely to accept bowl invitation


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In the wake of Charlie Weis' firing after a disappointing season, it's unlikely that Notre Dame will accept a bowl game invitation, athletic director Jack Swarbrick said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"I agree [no bowl] is the likely outcome, but we are reconvening the leadership counsel to make a final decision," Swarbrick said, according to the report.

A source familiar with the decision told the Chicago Tribune the choice already has been made -- and that it would take a change of heart by players and coaches at a team meeting scheduled for Friday to reverse that decision.

Notre Dame finished the regular season on a sour note, dropping four straight, including home losses to Navy and Connecticut. Weis, in his fifth season, was fired Monday.

On Thursday, AOL Fanhouse, citing a source close to the program, reported Notre Dame "will almost certainly not play in a bowl this season."

Notre Dame, which finished 6-6, would be slotted into a bowl only after all of the bowl-eligible teams with seven victories have set their destinations, according to the report. That would likely leave two choices: The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26, or the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 6.

Weis let the school know Tuesday that he plans to attend the Friday team banquet. He has not spoken to the entire team since last weekend, after the Irish were beaten 45-38 at Stanford. The banquet, usually open to the public, will be private, with only players, coaches, staff and family in attendance. The school did the same thing when Tyrone Willingham was fired five years ago.

It isnt in this article but the reports are it was the players decision to not play

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Foolishness if you ask me. Its not fair to the city of Southbend, the fans of Notre Dame or the seniors on the team. I know it was supposed to be a player vote but COME ON. Finish the season.

When Ajc posted an article a week ago asking if UGA should go to a bowl game this year I was (as a fan) furious. Why wouldn't you want a chance to enoy your college team one last time. (The next time will be in September) I can't stand all this hate for bowl games just because its not an upper tier bowl.

ITS A FREAKING EXTRA GAME. Take it, play it, enjoy it. Jeez.

Edited by atl falcon 89
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Extremely poor decision by the players. Very immature decision. They worked very hard to get into a position to at least get in a bowl game. It's not just for them, but the seniors have been there for 4 plus years and they deserve that game. The additional bowl practices are very impt to the younger players to help them prepare for next year (including redshirt players). The powers to be at Notre Dame shouldn't leave it to a bunch of very emotional players to make this decision.

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The Notre Dame football season is officially over.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced Friday that the school has decided against going to a bowl game with a 6-6 record, citing "unique circumstances." He didn't elaborate, but Swarbrick fired coach Charlie Weis after five seasons earlier this week and the search for a replacement is under way.

Swarbrick said he reached the decision after meetings with assistant coaches and team leaders.

"The unique circumstances surrounding our program at the current time prevent us from making the commitment required to compete in a bowl game," Swarbrick said in a prepared statement.

Weis was the team's offensive coordinator, so the team wouldn't have had an experienced play caller for a bowl game. The school also likely would have lost money because their only option would have been a minor bowl.

There also have been questions about how motivated players and coaches would have been for the game. Players actually met this week to discuss whether to play in a bowl.

Notre Dame went to the Insight Bowl in 2004 when Tyrone Willingham was fired, but the school accepted the bid before Willingham was fired. Players at least initially weren't sure they wanted to play in the bowl, but later voted to play. Both the offensive and defensive coordinators were still in place. The Irish were beaten 38-21 by Oregon State.

The school decided against going to a bowl game in 1996 after Lou Holtz resigned as coach. An overtime loss to USC in the regular-season finale cost them a shot at a major bowl that season.

For years, Notre Dame refused to play in bowls. The Irish played in the Rose Bowl in 1925, then didn't appear in another bowl until coach Ara Parseghian finally persuaded the university to let the ninth-ranked Irish play top-ranked Texas in the 1970 Cotton Bowl.

But the decision to play in bowl games came with the proviso: that Notre Dame play a higher-ranked team or one that could help the Irish improve their own ranking. That condition no longer exists.

The Irish went to the Hawaii Bowl last season with a 6-6 record and beat Hawaii 49-21.

"If the landscape had been different, we would have been thrilled to take part, and we certainly look forward to being part of the bowl system in the years to come," Swarbrick said.

The Irish ended this season with four straight losses to finish at .500 for just the sixth time in 121 seasons

Aside from who the new coach will be, the two biggest questions facing the Irish are whether quarterback Jimmy Clausen or receiver Golden Tate will be back for their senior seasons.

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