Weis says no offense meant to Carroll

Updated: December 7, 2009, 10:52 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has apologized and insists that heated comments he made about USC coach Pete Carroll "living with a grad student in Malibu" were taken "totally out of context" and he meant no offense.

Weis, speaking to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, said he was speaking to several reporters on a "totally subjective" basis as an aside to a formal interview and that the comments were meant to reference Internet rumors in general and how they impact coaches' lives and their families.

Weis
Weis

"In no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete," Weis said in a phone message to the Los Angeles Times. "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."

Carroll
Carroll

Weis, fired at Notre Dame last week, had been asked by IrishIllustrated.com, a site devoted to covering Notre Dame sports, whether he was "frustrated" by how he's portrayed in contrast to Carroll.

According to the interview transcript from IrishIllustrated.com senior editor Tim Prister, Weis responded: "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."

Weis was referring to a 2006 "60 Minutes" profile that showed him swearing and caused a minor stir, but the root of his reference to Carroll's alleged living arrangement had been unclear. Carroll is married with three children and a grandchild.

Prister declined to comment to the Times.

When told of the initial IrishIllustrated.com posting Saturday night, Carroll had told the Times, "It's untrue, it's irresponsible and it's incredible he'd be talking about me like that."

But Carroll told the newspaper Sunday that he had spoken to Weis.

"I talked to Charlie, and he wants to set the record straight," Carroll said. "He apologized profusely for being represented wrongly. I'm not commenting anymore."

Weis made the controversial comments while speaking to five handpicked reporters in South Bend, Ind., at Hannah & Friends, the nonprofit organization founded by Weis and his wife, Maura, designed to help children and adults with special needs. Hannah is one of Weis' children.

Weis was fired Monday after Notre Dame finished 6-6 this season. He was 35-27 in five seasons, winning just one bowl game during his tenure.

Carroll's USC team finished its regular season Saturday with a 21-17 loss to Arizona. The Trojans were 8-4.

ALSO SEE