University of Virginia football Coach George Welsh attempted today to end rumors that have targeted him for the same job at Notre Dame.
At his weekly press conference, Welsh, whose team plays West Virginia Saturday, was asked if he would deny to his players a report that he would replace Gerry Faust in South Bend.
"I don't think there's anything to say to the team," he said. "There's no foundation to it."
Welsh's contract at Virginia has been another source of conflicting reports -- and therefore of potential distraction to the 5-1-1 Cavaliers. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that his contract was to have been renegotiated after the 1983 season for another five years. But the length of the contract was brought into question by a Charlottesville Daily Progress story.
"That has not been resolved yet," Welsh said of his contract. "I'm not getting into Notre Dame or other jobs or contracts until the season's over. It's not fair to the team."
Virginia Athletic director Dick Schultz said today the length of the contract had yet to be determined, but that Welsh could make the agreement for as long as he wished.
"We will not lose George Welsh because someone else makes him a better offer," Schultz said. "The only way we would lose him is if somebody had more in terms of national prestige or tradition. If we lost him, it wouldn't be because of dollars. It would be because of intangibles."
The Cavaliers have enough to concern themselves with in the 18th-ranked Mountaineers (7-1), who beat Penn State Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
"I don't think they have any weaknesses," said Welsh. "Their defense has helped them win some games because they force a lot of turnovers, and they have an outstanding kicking game.
"None of them are just another game now, not with our record," he said. "But I'm not going to say it's more important than North Carolina or Maryland or N.C. State. We can lose Saturday and still win the conference. If we lose another in the conference, we probably can't win the championship."
Virginia is 2-0-1 in the ACC. Maryland is 3-0, the only other team without a league loss.