it's a major award
I don't want to get into team unity argument so understand this comes from a different angle. The team missed out on a bowl, and the practices, and extra time that entails, but also the type of team building experience that brings as well. It has been a very difficult period to be a member of this team and there have been many transfers. Many individuals can also look at a few plays here and there that might have put them into a bowl. I don't how it can be done with out it being a NCAA violation, but I think the team needs to have a good positive experience together while the seniors are still around. Sadly I think a team retreat would be a blatant rules Violation.
On another note: Watching MNF made it seem very apparent that Jon Gruden will be back coaching. The way he breaks down plays the enthusiasm he brings to the broadcast shows his love for teaching football. He started very young in the NFL, has his SuperBowl ( or Tony D's ) but I think he'll return as a Pete Carroll type once he gets tired of making RonJo sound like some plunky eccentric. If he were ND's next coach I would be more concerned then with Brian Kelly. Gruden has a better network of schemers and handled a lot more pressure. How long he takes to decide that may be another story, but he has too much passion to stay in the both with so many big time programs turning over.
Latest Gruden to Irish rumor says that ND will buy out Chuck Weis' contract as soon as the new recruiting class is finalized. Original source is a New York Daily News IIRC, sighting an "Insider". I hope it's not true. I prefer to face mediocrity out of South Bend