The former Notre Dame coach said his comments about USC counterpart Pete Carroll were taken out of context during an exit interview Saturday with five selected reporters in South Bend.
"In no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete," Weis said in a message for Gary Klein of 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."
John Walters of FanHouse writes that of the five reporters invited to talk with Weis, only Tim Prister of Fighting Irish Illustrated ran the comment. Although Weis says the comment was off the record, suggested otherwise on the message boards of Irish Illustrated:Prister
"The five reporters and Charlie Weis were discussing Internet rumors Saturday when a question pertaining to Pete Carroll was asked. Comments were made that were, in my opinion, on the record, and corroborated by another reporter in attendance as on the record. However, Coach Weis, later in the day, indicated that they were not on the record and were taken out of context.
"Before talking to Coach Weis later in the day, I took the comments at face value and reported them after transcribing the interview and presenting it in its entirety (the question-answer part) before any of the other reporters presented it.
"Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by Coach Weis and asked to remove the comment because it was an off the record statement taken out of context. We took the necessary measures to remove it because of the miscommunication, but a national story still contained the comment. The reason it appeared on our site and no one else's is because we were the first to report it. The other reporters were asked not to use it after our story appeared and prior to them publishing their stories.
"I regret the miscommunication and in no way intended to misrepresent the comments made by Coach Weis. I was one of five reporters asked to this gathering and in no way would I intend to disparage or misrepresent Coach Weis."
Weis' comments have since been removed from Prister's original piece, but are widely circulated elsewhere on the Internet.
Nonetheless, the damage has been done. Walters writes: "In about ten seconds Weis squandered all the moral currency and good will he had deposited since his firing. Earlier this week it was reported that Weis was still contacting at least one verbally committed recruit (wide receiver Daniel Smith of South Bend Clay High School). On Friday he appeared at the football banquet in great spirits, handing out awards and cracking jokes. Now, with one careless comment, even if it was intended to be off the record, he shows disregard for a principle that most kindergarten students have already committed to memory: mind your own business."