Weis ad catches Irish eyes

A billboard near the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind., recently grabbed Fighting Irish football coach Charlie Weis‘ attention — and it wasn’t an ad for McDonald’s.

“Best wishes to Charlie Weis in the 5th year of his coaching internship,” reads the billboard.

“Everything was great until that last word,” said Weis, who guided Notre Dame to a 7-6 mark last season and is 10-15 the past two years. “I’m the head coach at Notre Dame. Welcome to my world. That comes with the territory.”

The sign’s message is attributed to “Linebacker Alumni.”

Tom Reynolds, a former Irish letterwinner, told The South Bend Tribune that he paid for the sign on behalf of about 50 other former players.

Weis said his only concern is beating UNR in the season opener.

“I could not care less about any other things,” he said. “That’s all I want to do. I’m not worried about hot seats, cold seats, anything.”

• DIVER DOWN — The major European soccer governing body UEFA suspended Arsenal striker Eduardo for two games for taking a dive to draw a penalty during a Champions League game last week.

“I believe that you can debate whether it was a penalty or not,” Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger told BBC.com. “This charge implies there was intent and a desire to cheat the referee.”

The NBA should follow soccer’s lead and crack down on players flopping to draw fouls.

• HORSE DOPED — Five-time Olympic dressage champion Isabell Werth of Germany was banned for six months Wednesday after her horse Whisper failed a doping test that was conducted in May at an event in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Werth, who placed third on another horse in March during the World Cup in Las Vegas, was deemed responsible for a positive test for fluphenazine, an anti-psychotic drug used to control aggression in humans and not licensed for use on horses.

The horse, meanwhile, issued a statement saying he never knowingly ingested any banned substances and blamed an over-the-counter supplement.

• GOING TO THE DAWGS — TaxSlayer.com is sponsoring the NASCAR Sprint Cup entry driven by David Gilliland for six races this season, but the tax-return service makes no bones about placing a higher priority on supporting University of Georgia football.

The sponsorship contract with the No. 71 car excludes any weekends when the Bulldogs are playing at home.

“Going to Georgia football games is our Saturday religion,” said Daniel Eubanks, a director with the company that uses Georgia’s school colors in its logo. “It is tough sitting in the stands rooting for the Bulldogs with one eye on the TV watching the Sprint Cup team practice.”

The exception will be Nov. 1, when TaxSlayer.com sponsors the car for a race at Talladega the same weekend the Bulldogs host preseason No. 1 Florida.

COMPILED BY JEFF WOLF LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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