Neither did Georgia Tech officials, who hired him twice--once as an assistant coach in and once as head coach in This is not uncommon in Division I-A athletics. Though elite college football coaches are paid millions of dollars and control millions more in budgets, they rarely undergo the sort of scrutiny that has become routine in other high-profile businesses. Criminal background checks are rare, and in many cases the hiring school will check with the NCAA only to make sure the coach hasn't covered up any rules violations.
You work to establish trust. That's why a lot of people hire guys they know. They want to know what they're getting. Clearly, Notre Dame knew little about O'Leary, other than his won-lost record and the demonstrable facts that he's Irish-American, Catholic and can recite Fighting Irish lore by heart.
Notre Dame thought it was getting a coach who would restore the luster to a badly faded program. What it got was embarrassment, mockery and disappointment--and it all could have been averted with a couple of telephone calls. The phone calls didn't happen, perhaps because White set a speedy timetable for replacing Davie, who was dismissed Dec.
White need not have rushed to sign O'Leary, whom other suitors were not pursuing. His stock had dipped dramatically this year as Georgia Tech fell from the Associated Press' preseason Top 10 and finished White, who did not speak to reporters Friday, may have wanted to name a coach quickly to give the new man plenty of recruiting time.
Or he may have wanted to quell speculation, growing louder with each day, that most coaches no longer covet the Notre Dame job. O'Leary coveted the job, if few others did. He went at Georgia Tech, and the Irish were willing to overlook the fact that only 33 percent of O'Leary's Yellow Jackets had graduated over a recent period, and that the NCAA had barred him from the sideline for one game for providing a small loan to a player.
But it couldn't overlook outright lies on a resume. O'Leary said he had lettered three times in football at New Hampshire; he was there two years and never played. FanSided 4 years 25 worst college football coaching hires in history. More College Football News ».
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