[This was written before Brian Kelly was hired as the new Notre Dame football coach. Welcome Mr. Kelly!]
Several overhead TVs were showing various athletic events, and several people at the dinner gathering were keeping an eye on ESPN’s crawl, hoping for news about the new ND football coach. Finally, a guy at the end of the table shouted down to me, “Certainly the managing editor of Notre Dame Magazine should know the scoop. C’mon, tell us.”
Yes, the possibility that I know who the next coach will be is almost as likely as Urban Meyer looking at today’s South Bend weather forecast and saying, “Hey, it’s 14 degrees! Time to go back to Notre Dame.”
However, the night of the football banquet, closed to all but players and families, I ran into John Heisler, senior associate athletic director, at the JACC. We exchanged a brief but friendly greeting and went our separate ways. That, I figured, was as close as I would get to an “insider” that week, and John wasn’t talking. He never does.
The Notre Dame Athletic Department reminds me of the CIA, minus the leaks. Maybe a contractual clause exists, and employees who fail to toe the confidentiality line can be fired if they talk (with no huge buyout, of course). Or maybe they are simply threatened with a move to the Office of Residence Life. Whatever, they are a close-mouthed group.
Like everyone else around here these days, I watched Cincinnati play Pittsburgh — a game I normally would have ignored — and I continue to play the guessing game. Edsall, Kelly, S. Holtz, Stoops, Tuberville?
So no, I have no inside scoop. Which doesn’t keep me from wondering: If I did know, who would I tell? David Haugh, my favorite sportswriter? Brian Hamilton, whose Tweets can be amusing, if erroneous? Or would I just post it on ND Nation, where only the obnoxious survive?
Maybe I’d tell only my godson, a fabulously fierce ND fanatic. Now that would be a Christmas gift he’d never forget.
No matter. It’s a fun game. I just wish I knew the score.
Carol Schaal is managing editor of Notre Dame Magazine.