Making the morning rounds.
• Mo money, mo problems. How badly did Notre Dame want to get rid of head coach Charlie Weis after the Irish's 0-4 November plunge in 2009? Badly enough to pay Weis a whopping $6.64 million to buy out the remainder of his contract, according to IRS records obtained by the Chicago Tribune — and to keep on paying for the foreseeable future: The university remains on the hook for "much smaller annual payments" to Weis through December of 2015. On the bright side, at least Tyrone Willingham is finally off the books. [Chicago Tribune]
• I'm sorry, I was distracted by his rings when he said that. Meanwhile, at Weis' new job, Florida coach Will Muschamp told a crowd of Gators fans in Tampa this week that he hired Weis because "Charlie knows how to run the football." That might come as news to Irish fans: Though his offense in Kansas City ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing last year, Weis' offenses in five years at Notre Dame finished 55th, 72nd, 115th, 100th and 84th on the ground, respectively, from 2005-09.
Still, unlike his predecessor, Weis does seem to grasp how not to run the football: As he told reporters after last month's spring game, "You can count the number of plays we'll call with [quarterback] John Brantley running the option on zero hands." [CBS Sports]
• Are you saying his testimony isn't enough? Opelika (Ala.) Police said Wednesday that their investigation into the alleged assault of accused Auburn tree-poisoner Harvey Updyke after a court appearance last month is at a dead end and will likely be wrapped up soon. "Currently there have been no witnesses to come forward, no evidence collected," Capt. Allen Elkins told the War Eagle Reader. "The investigators have nothing to go on at all." Elsewhere, Lee County prosecutors have also requested a gag order to seal records, restrict access to court proceedings and prohibit parties involved in their ongoing case against Updyke from speaking publicly. [War Eagle Reader, Opelika-Auburn News]
• Turf wars. With the verbal commitment of Detroit cornerback Terry Richardson earlier this week, Michigan now has verbals from seven of the top instate prospects in the class of 2012 — compared to Michigan State's one — at least temporarily restoring what looks to Wolverines fans like the natural order of the recruiting world after three years of local futility under Rich Rodriguez. In 2009, Michigan signed just two of the top 10 instate prospects, losing seven of the top 10 to Michigan State; in 2010, the Spartans took five of the top 10 to Michigan's one; and in February, the Wolverines were only able to land four of the top 10 after Brady Hoke's arrival as head coach, watching the state's top three players — including the No. 1 prospect, MSU signee Lawrence Thomas — place their signatures elsewhere.
The Wolverines' 2012 haul already includes three Michigan players ranked among Rivals' top 200 overall prospects going into the season, including the only in-stater in the top 100, Detroit linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone. Michigan State's only instate commitment to date, "athlete" Riley Bullough, is yet to be ranked. [Detroit News, MGoBlog]
• Happy trails. (Yes, that's a request.) Pittsburgh has announced the departures of two veteran backups, tight end Dan Schneider and defensive back Kolby Gray, for entirely different reasons: Schneider is giving up football due to a lingering shoulder injury that sidelined him for all of 2010, but Gray, a Houston native, plans to return home to play for Baylor and, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune, pursue a career in country-western music. And I'm no talent scout, but he might actually have a shot:
Quickly… A call for big-time football to pick a side in its bizarre relationship with the NCAA. … The Rimington Trophy names every center in the nation to its preseason watch list. (The early favorite: Oklahoma State's Grant Garner, for the mustache alone.) … Breaking down the truth and consequences of a nine-game Big Ten schedule. … Watch Washington's spring game from Keith Price's perspective. … Jon Embree is the latest coach to complain about spring recruiting restrictions. … Steven Sheffield is the latest college QB to turn up in the arena leagues. … And don't forget: Saturday is The Rapture, so make sure you have a heathen friend to take care of your pets after you're gone.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.