It was, he advised them, make-your-mind-up time concentrate on either hurling or football.
Limerick's dual players include Brian Begley, Stephen Lucey, Conor Fitzgerald, Mark Keane, Mike Riordan and Mike O'Brien. Whelehan and his selectors Declan Nash and Damien Quigley were not available for comment. Football boss Liam Kearns was not contactable.
One hurling panel member claimed the management left nobody in any doubt as to what they expected. "Padjoe means business ... he is determined to get it right."
Three years ago, then hurling manager Eamonn Cregan threatened to quit because of the dual player situation. With Limerick enjoying a high profile in football they will play in Division 1 of the Allianz League for the first time Kearns will be concerned if he is denied the services of six key members of his squad, especially in that he has such a small pool of players from which to select.
Both competitions run in tandem with just one direct clash on March 14, when the hurlers travel to Whelehan's home patch in Offaly and the footballers take on Meath at the Gaelic Grounds.
County board chairman Pat Fitzgerald said the issue needed to be resolved once and for all. Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has named a strong team for Sunday's Dr McKenna Cup clash with Derry. Every one of them an All-Ireland medallist, Harte has given no indication that there will be an experimental element to the Red Hands' return to action, although some fringe players are expected to be called into the squad inside the next 24 hours.
Peter Canavan and Cormac McAnallen remain on the injured list, while John Devine and Sean Cavanagh are committed to their university sides. Nevertheless, nine of those who played in last September's All-Ireland final win over Armagh will start at Omagh on Sunday.
The Tyrone squad returned from holiday in Dubai only on Wednesday night, but Harte had already begun the task of preparing a team for this weekend's tie.
"It's a question of getting the players back into competitive action, and also a question of going out to win games.
"There's no point in conning people. I don't think it's right to expect people to pay into a match that you don't want to win."It would not be fair to the public, and I would never want to do that. The objective is to win the game, but you have to consider that the players are just back from holidays, and haven't trained in two or three months.
"When you compare that with teams who have been training collectively for some time now, maybe that will be something of a leveller."
TYRONE: P. McConnell, R. McMenamin, C. Holmes, M. McGee, C. Gormley, G. Devlin, C. Gourley, K.Hughes, G. Cavlan, M. Coleman, B. McGuigan, S. Mulgrew, F. McGuigan, S. O'Neill, O. Mulligan.