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Willingham for whatever reason was not popular with the boosters and alumni.

I'm so not saying anything here.

Of course race was an issue. To wit, Bob Davie's record after 3 years at ND: 21-16; Willingham's was 21-15. Davie gets to finish out his contract. Ditto for Gerry Faust, whose first three years netted an 18-15-1 record and he was able serve his five-year contract. (I cribbed these numbers from King Kaufman's column at the time:

I do think, and do think it was wrong, that Willingham was held to an unnecessarily high standard; plus he also saved the ND Admin's bacon over the O'Leary mess. At the time, the ND PR word was that the team wasn't winning enough, but that didn't keep previous -- white -- coaches from keeping their jobs. That being said, with, essentially, the same talent on the field that Ty had, Weis takes the Irish to a BCS bowl in his first season as coach.

--jbx (ND class of 1990, but no ND fan or apologist)
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