The Brian Kelly story, a tale in four parts:
“… my love for you is limitless”? C’mon, dude, if it were limitless, you’d still be in South Bend.
My point here isn’t to lambast Kelly, or Lincoln Riley, for that matter, for any perceived hypocrisy on their part by leaving for greener pastures. Let’s face it, coachspeak hasn’t yet caught up to the new normal. At some point, a pilfered coach is going to own his introductory presser by simply saying, “I’m good at what I do, so what am I supposed to do when the market recognizes my worth? I’ve got to look out for me and mine, you know.”
And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is America, after all. If you were offered what Lincoln Riley allegedly was offered to jump from Norman, Oklahoma to Southern California, you’d be insane to say no. Lincoln Riley may be some things, but crazy ain’t one of them.
No, if you want to take any lessons from this, there are a few. One, and maybe most importantly, is every coaching job in college football should be seen as interim. Notre Dame hasn’t seen a coach walk away since 1907. The school has a legitimate shot at making this year’s CFP. It didn’t matter.
Everything is next, next, next … it’s not even now, now, now.
Certainly not when Brian Kelly, staring down another playoff appearance, flat out gives up the winner he built and figures he has a better chance somewhere else.
And they used to get upset when the players sat out bowl games.
If you’re looking for hypocrites, look no further than the folks who run the athletic departments. You know, these guys:
Athletic directors who laid off or furloughed workers, cut sports, and sounded the general alarm about the long-range future of college sports are now spending like drunken hedge fund titans.
As an aside, good for Jim Harbaugh for doing this:
I hope that at least makes Michigan’s AD blush.
Anyway, the truth is simple: the only group of folks in college football who bleed their school colors are the boosters who are willing to spend silly money in hopes they land the next big thing. If you’re an athletic director who wants to keep that group happy — and you very likely are — you’re going to do their bidding, especially if they’re willing to front the bucks. (Which, in the cases of USC and LSU, they apparently are.) For the vast majority of everyone else, it’s a job first. If the timing is right, a very well paying job.
The funny thing about this is that it’s the boosters who aren’t hypocrites. They just want to win. If that means paying coaches top dollar, as long as they get results, fine. The same can likely be said about player compensation. It’s the ADs and school presidents who whine about what NIL compensation will do to the sport who are. It’s the coaches who complain about what the transfer portal will do to the sport who are.
The irony here is so thick you could cut it with a knife. And don’t take my word for that.
Kids, when you’ve lost Rece Davis…