Thursday, December 10, 2009
Brian Kelly to Notre Dame; Officially Unofficial
The University of Cincinnati has yet to officially confirm that their head football coach Brian Kelly has accepted the head coaching position at Notre Dame, but that's clearly the case and all signs point to an official announcement tomorrow.
After winning the coach of the year award on ESPN's awards show Thursday night, Chris Fowler tried and tried to get any sort of answer from Kelly on the matter, but to no avail.
The Cincinnati players have done what Fowler couldn't however which is get an answer as Kelly told the team in a closed door meeting following their team banquet that he had indeed accepted the job at Notre Dame.
Senior standout receiver Mardy Gilyard walked out of the meeting after just 1 minute and was clearly upset.
"I heard everything I needed to know: 'I accepted the Notre Dame job,'" Gilyard said. "He went for the money. I'm fairly disgusted with the situation, that they let it last this long."
"I feel there was a little lying in the thing," Gilyard added. "I feel like he'd known this the whole time. Everybody knows Notre Dame's got the money. I kind of had a gut feeling he was going to stay just because he told me he was going to be here."
Gilyard wasn't the only Bearcat feeling the sting of Kelly's departure.
Star quarterback Tony Pike explained that Kelly told players last week that he was happy at Cincinnati.
"The Tuesday when we were practicing for Pittsburgh, he said he loves it here and he loves this team and loves coaching here and his family loves it here," Pike said.
I'm already decidedly on the record as not being a fan of Kelly, and I won't rehash that here.
However, while I understand the need and desire to keep the process quiet, misleading your own players is pretty low.
Sure, word would have leaked out had they known, but tomorrow at his Irish press conference, it will ring a bit hollow when they speak of Kelly's honesty and integrity.
Maybe I'm wrong and Kelly actually is a really nice guy. But his public perception is curious at best. There seem to be more than a few negatives out there, but he will be given a chance to change that at Notre Dame.
Kelly will almost certainly not coach his undefeated team in the Sugar Bowl, and they will get trounced because they just aren't that good.
The book is still out on Kelly.