News and Notes: 10/16/2006

*The bye week might have come at the right time for the Notre Dame football team. Several Irish players were held out of the Stanford victory. On defense, linebacker Travis Thomas, safety Tommy Zbikwoski and cornerback Ambrose Wooden did not play vs. the Cardinal and offensive tackle Paul Duncan and kickoff specialist Bobby Renkes were also held out.

Now, these players will have three weeks to rest their wounds before stepping onto the football field this Saturday against UCLA. Head coach Charlie Weis said the players would receive treatment today and then he would talk to the medical staff to evaluate their progress. During the bye week, the players didn't always have to come back to campus to nurse their injuries.

"I like to get them away from here," Weis said on Monday. "There's different things that we take with them. We bring stim machines home with us. They're a bunch of portable machines which are the treatment that they get when they're in the training room. There's exercises, in Tommy's case, he was doing. He's just doing them there instead of doing them here.

"I think one of the things, besides getting people healthy physically, I think getting them ready mentally and psychologically, getting away from here for a few days I think is a healthy thing."

*By now, almost everyone has seen replays of the ugly incident in the Miami-Florida International contest. The university has slapped 13 Hurricane players with one-game suspensions and more could possibly be on the way. The public outcry at this brawl has been immense. In a rough and tough game such as football, there will be shoving matches and trash talking on each side in every game. The incident that occurred in Miami on Saturday night crossed the line in big fashion.

"Obviously it looked ugly to me just like it looked ugly to everyone else," Weis said. "In retrospect, I was happy that the one altercation we had at Michigan State ended so quickly in comparison. Any time there's an altercation, it could get out of control. It shows that teams can get out of control or teams can get under control.

"I don't know all the details. I don't know all the things that are happening. I'd be ignorant towards that. I mean, it was an ugly thing to watch. It's not good for anything to escalate.

"There's going to be times when stuff happens, let's face it. It's just how long it happens. I think it definitely got way out of hand."

*Last week, Weis said that freshmen Ryan Burkhart and Nate Whitaker would get a look to be the long-range field goal kicker. This season, Carl Gioia is 3-for-6 in place kicking. He's safe in short kicks but Weis wanted to see if the other two were more effective from longer distances. Gioia apparently held off the challenge.

"They were no better than Carl," Weis said. "I don't believe in putting another guy in there just to have another guy. They would have to beat the guy out in that situation for me to make a change, and that didn't take place."

*The bye week gave some time for Weis to kick back and relax. On Saturday, he watched football all day with his son, Charlie, Jr. The following day, Weis woke up early and watched a DVD of the UCLA-Oregon contest. He thought he'd be watching pro football in the afternoon. His wife, Maura, had other plans as she gave him a to-do-list for chores around their new house.

"It was a bunch of stuff in the barn, believe it or not," Weis said about what he had to clean. "I mean, I was doing things that I didn't think I'd ever be doing. Now that I have a barn, this is something new."

*The pep rally for the Notre Dame-UCLA contest is set for Friday, October 20th in the Joyce Center. The Irish football team arrives in the arena at 6:30 p.m. For fans interested in going, there are a few ways to get tickets. The Notre Dame volleyball game starts at 4:00 p.m. and combination tickets for both events can be purchased. They will begin distributing those at 3:00 at Gate 10 of the Joyce Center. If fans buy these combination tickets, they cannot leave and come back only for the pep rally. They must attend both the volleyball game and the rally.

If any tickets remain, those will be distributed beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the ticket windows on the east side of Notre Dame Stadium.

*The final 2008 schedule was released late last week by Notre Dame. The opponents: home vs. San Diego State (September 6th), home vs. Michigan (September 13th), at Michigan State (September 20th), home vs. Purdue (September 27th), home vs. Stanford (October 4th), at North Carolina (October 11th), open date, at Washington (October 25th), home vs. Pittsburgh (November 1st), at Boston College (November 8th), at Navy (Baltimore) (November 15th), home vs. Syracuse (November 22nd) and at USC (November 29th). Top Stories