Brian Kelly is on a mission to make himself public enemy number one in South Bend, Indiana, for reasons unknown. His daughter is graduating from Notre Dame next month, and at this point, if I were Kelly, I wouldn’t have been so eager to show my face on campus.
After 12 seasons at Notre Dame during which he received countless second chances and, after a difficult start to his tenure, finally becoming the winning coach in Notre Dame history, Kelly shocked Irish fans when he announced in January that he was leaving for LSU.
While he came out of the blue at the time, there was widespread support for the school’s decision to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to the position of head coach, a sense of appreciation for Kelly’s years with the program and an understanding of his choice going forward. .
But he did not advance. For some reason, he won’t be silent about Notre Dame, even after months in Baton Rouge. In a recent interview with AP, went into the most detail yet about his decision to move, and doubled down on questionable observations in recent months that have boiled down to blaming Irish players and the ND management for his failures in major matches against seeded teams, both during the regular season. or postseason.
I can understand there were some issues with management – Kelly requested updated facilities which he never got, and that could have been frustrating. But in the four years I’ve been a student there – Kelly’s last four years as head coach – the school built a massive new indoor training facility and finished a half-billion-dollar four-year project that completely renovated the stadium. In the years prior, they installed their first turf at Kelly’s behest at Notre Dame and, perhaps most importantly, allowed Kelly to stay after going 4-8 in 2016 and losing to the Duke at home.
But instead of just talking about LSU’s resources or the allure of playing for the SEC or wanting to change pace after a decade or even a $95 million contract, Kelly keeps talking about nonsense — or, at least, shit about Notre Dame. Let’s take a look at some quotes from the AP piece and others CBS piece of yesterday.
On the reason for leaving: “I felt like I did everything I could at Notre Dame and they felt they did everything they could for me.”
From where I stand, there is no way to take this aside from Kelly’s pointing out that he was the reason ND got into the big games, and ND was the reason he lost the big games. He did everything in his power to get to the ceiling that they clearly set above him – an excuse, no more, and an excuse that will collapse very quickly if he isn’t able to win the biggest at LSU in the coming years.
At LSU’s Nutrition Center: “We don’t have that. We distribute precooked food. did you enter [Guglielmino Athletics Complex at Notre Dame]? There is no training table. We get food from the cafeteria. You get a lunch bag.”
Well, there is no longer an “us” between Kelly and Notre Dame. You have a new ‘we’ now – especially if you’re going to do it in Irish establishments like that. I mean – a lunch bag? It makes Notre Dame look like it has the resources of a third-tier average program. While there is no doubt that there is room for improvement in the sporting facilities at Notre Dame, a fact which AD Jack Swarbrick has acknowledged, this is in reality manifested as too much and unnecessary.
About being at LSU: “You have players who want to be great.”
I mean, you can’t get much less than blaming the kids you’ve recruited and trained for not being able to succeed. Making this statement means telling the world that this is a new development – that the athletes at Notre Dame who competed in several CFP playoffs and the BCS Championship under Kelly didn’t win it all because they somehow lacked the desire for greatness. It’s a totally unfounded comparison of the teams that allows Kelly to disclaim any responsibility for the lack of greatness.
About recruitment:It starts with being able to recruit within 3 hours of campus… “At Notre Dame, I was on a plane for four weeks. I have to go to every state and pull their best player out of their main high school. When I went to CaliforniaI had to beat USC or University of California. When I went to Texas, I had to defeat Texas or A&M. When I went to Florida, I had to win Miami. “
Kelly’s recruiting has always been a point of contention with Notre Dame fans – happy to have consistent 10-win seasons, you can kind of overlook the slow recruiting effort, but it’s more evident now than ever that Marcus Freeman has what looks like four new seasons – Or committing to five stars each week for the first few months of his leadership of the program. Kelly didn’t want to put in the effort, so the ease of employment he hopes to find in Louisiana is likely to be a good thing. Another lousy excuse for not winning the big stuff, and also a kind of revealing statement that he wants to be in a place where he doesn’t have to work hard to earn the commitments of the top recruits.
All I have to say at this point is good luck to LSU. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it all being your fault when things go wrong and it’s all up to Kelly when things go well. Authenticity and accountability can’t even be bought with a hundred million dollars.