Thursday, March 25, 1999

Prosser possible, Majerus out at ND

The Associated Press

        SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Rick Majerus apparently was too much for Notre Dame, and Irish officials seem to be focusing their search for a new coach on quieter — and less controversial — candidates, including Xavier's Skip Prosser.

        Majerus withdrew his name from consideration Tuesday night, saying he didn't think he'd be a good fit for the strict Notre Dame image. That left Prosser, Princeton's Bill Carmody and Delaware's Mike Brey on the short list to replace John MacLeod, who resigned under pressure March 9.

        The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that Majerus dropped out after the Rev. Edward Malloy, university president, and the Rev. E. William Beauchamp, executive vice president, rejected a recommendation from athletic director Mike Wadsworth to hire the Utah coach.

        The newspaper cited a source close to Majerus who said Notre Dame's disapproval was based on excerpts from Majerus' recently released book, My Life On A Napkin. In it, Majerus wrote that it would be hypocritical for him to discipline an athlete for academic fraud because of the cheating he had done as a student at Marquette.

        Malloy and Beauchamp reportedly had too many questions about his character and a perception that he was not a fit for the Notre Dame spirit.

        Majerus' departure from the candidate list intensified speculation that Seton Hall's Tommy Amaker and Siena's Paul Hewitt could be added to Notre Dame's short list.

        But Seton Hall athletic director Jeff Fogelson, the former Xavier AD, said no one from Notre Dame has asked permission to speak with Amaker, and Siena athletic director John Dargonio would not comment Wednesday.

        “There is no doubt in my mind that if Notre Dame is interested in speaking with Tommy, Mike Wadsworth would call me, and I have not heard from Mike,” Fogelson said.

        Notre Dame officials interviewed Carmody on Monday and have asked permission to speak with Prosser, though that probably won't happen until after Xavier plays its last game in the consolation game of the NIT finals tonight.

        Brey reportedly has interviewed with Notre Dame as well, but school officials won't confirm that report.

        Of the candidates circulating so far, Majerus seemed the odd man out from the beginning. All of them, including Majerus, have experience with a private college. But the bigger-than-life coach, who's confessed to being something of a fallen Roman Catholic, always has seemed at odds with Notre Dame's prim and proper image.


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Muskies get last shot to go out winners
- Prosser possible, Majerus out at ND