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Charlie Weis' comments on USC's Pete Carroll stir up a Web storm

The former Notre Dame coach ends up apologizing for remarks in online story that he says were taken 'totally out of context,' and the USC coach labels 'untrue' and 'irresponsible.'

December 07, 2009|By Gary Klein
  • Charlie Weis and Pete Carroll meet after the 2006 Notre Dame-USC game.
Charlie Weis and Pete Carroll meet after the 2006 Notre Dame-USC game. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Charlie Weis is no longer Notre Dame's coach, but that doesn't mean he's out of Pete Carroll's hair.

Weis said Sunday that comments he made about Carroll in an interview published by a website were taken "totally out of context."

In a question-and-answer session posted Saturday by IrishIllustrated.com senior editor Tim Prister, Weis was asked:

"Is it frustrating to you Pete Carroll, for example, portrayed in one way . . ."

Weis was quoted as responding:

"Let me ask you this question: You guys know about things that go on in different places. Was I living with a grad student in Malibu, or was I living with my wife in my house? You could bet that if I were living with a grad student here in South Bend, it would be national news. He's doing it in Malibu and it's not national news. What's the difference? I don't understand. Why is it [OK] for one guy to do things like that, but for me, I'm scrutinized when I swear. I'm sorry for swearing; absolve my sins."

When informed of the post by a USC official, Carroll told The Times late Saturday night, "It's untrue, it's irresponsible, and it's incredible he'd be talking about me like that."

Early Sunday, Weis contacted The Times and said he had been having a "totally subjective" conversation with several reporters that was an aside to the formal interview. During that conversation, Weis said, he was speaking about Internet rumors and how they adversely affect the lives of coaches and their families.

"In no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete," Weis said in a phone message. "What we were talking about was how the rumor mill can affect people's lives. When I was asked a specific question like that, I responded like, 'This is the same crap that I'm talking about.' You start saying things like this and one thing, this guy does this and I do that and all of a sudden the Internet takes it all over the place.

"So, in no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete. I feel if I offended Pete, I will run Pete down and apologize. . . . In no way do I have any idea what's going on in anyone's life other than the fact that rumors on the Internet can affect coaches' lives in a very, very negative fashion."

Later, in a telephone interview, Weis said, "In no way would I be disrespectful to that guy," and, "All I know is that he kicked the crap out of me five times."

Weis' comments regarding Carroll were removed from the interview online.

Prister declined to comment.

Carroll said Sunday that he had spoken to Weis, who had apologized.

"Charlie came out and tried to clear the air on something he said that wasn't taken properly. He was most apologetic and thought it was misrepresented."

Carroll added that, "It was most ironic that the topic he was addressing was things on the Internet and how they cause problems for people. And that's exactly what he did."

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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