So, you think Brian Kelly was dickish in the way he left Cincinnati to take the Notre Dame job. Fine. I posed this question on Twitter last night but I'll post it again. If Brian Kelly did it "the wrong way," show me a coach who left one school to coach another and did it "the right way."
You can't. Cause there's no such thing.
Truth is, Brian Kelly did it about as smoothly as one can, which isn't all that smoothly at all. Anyone who has ever traded in one job or another, regardless of what industry you work in, can tell you that. There's always hurt feelings. You always leave someone in the lurch. It's not personal, but someone always makes it personal. But at the end of the day, you do what's best for you. You look out for No. 1. You know why? Cause no one else will. Brian Kelly is always two bad seasons away from being fired, be it at Notre Dame or even Cincinnati. Today's savior is tomorrow's chump. Just ask Mark Mangino.
So, Brian Kelly should have been more forthcoming, huh? He should have told his players first? He should have stayed because of loyalty and commitment and other arbitrary words that have similar definitions?
Question: Did Cincinnati fans feel bad when Kelly "turned his back" on Central Michigan and took the Bearcats job three years ago? No? Why not...he "ripped their Chippewa hearts out," didn't he? What a scoundrel, no? What's the difference?
Truth is, Kelly was probably more forthcoming than any coach in his position in a long time. Dude actually made public statements about his intentions to interview with Notre Dame. He never denied their interest nor his own. He laid the expectations out on the table about as clearly as one could. He didn't tell the public everything...you know why? Cause only a moron would do that. He's sitting at a bargaining table where information and perception means millions of dollars, why the hell would he run to the papers or his locker room and spill his guts?
To say Kelly is a jerk is to have no perspective. It's like saying Johnny Flynn is a jerk for going pro rather than staying at Syracuse. So, he should give up his dream profession and the chance to make guaranteed millions so that you, a stranger, can feel better about wearing your Syracuse t-shirt? The question is simple...would you have done the same? Would you have stayed for "love of the game" and risked injury or a lousy season that plummeted your draft stock? If you say yes you either a liar or mentally-handicapped.
And let's be clear about something...no one at Cincinnati should be surprised that the best coach to walk through their doors in...forever...left to go coach the most storied program in the entire sport. For all it's recent success, it's still Cincinnati. They still play in an overgrown Patriot League stadium. They'll always going to be second banana in their own state when it comes to college football.
Could he have stayed and built Cincinnati into a powerhouse for years to come? Absolutely. But little kids don't play football in their backyard pretending to lead Cincinnati to the national championship. They pretend to be on Notre Dame. Or USC. Or Texas.
Bearcat WR Marty Gilyard, whose comments were somewhat taken out of context, said yesterday that Kelly "went for the money" and that he's "fairly disgusted with the situation." Hey Marty, what are you doing at Cincinnati? What's your goal? Is it to make a crapton of money playing in the NFL at the next level or is it to play football at Cincinnati for free for the rest of your life? Thought so...
Here at Syracuse, we're actually in quite an enviable position. There is no job that someone could offer to Jim Boeheim that would ever make him leave. And believe me, people have tried. This is the apex of his coaching career. And the way Doug Marrone talks, it sounds like the same thing. Aside from maybe one day coaching a pro team, Marrone has always viewed Syracuse as the top of the mountain. Until he accomplishes his goal (or fails miserably), he isn't going anywhere.
For almost every other institution, there is always a better option. The guy at Grand Valley State will always want to move up to Central Michigan, who will always want to move up to Cincinnati, who will always want to move up to Notre Dame. No different than how you or I want to move up the ladder in our own professions. Next time someone offers you a better job for more money and better benefits, let me know if you turn it down. I'll be happy to swing by and thump your skull for you.