Kelly leaving cincy vs. Rich Rod leaving wvu - player reactions:

Submitted by blueadams on December 10th, 2009 at 11:11 PM are some quotes from the article that went up today. for those that remember the wvu player reaction to richrod leaving wvu, you'll notice that this is the complete opposite. when rich rod left wvu, the fans were all pissed, sure, but the players all understood why he left and wished him the best. i think its reflective of the kind of character these two coaches bring.

The news didn't play well with Kelly's current team. Bearcat players were led into a meeting room, where Kelly told them he was leaving and thanked them for making his opportunity possible. One minute into the meeting, the door opened and receiver Mardy Gilyard walked out angry and alone, save his MVP trophy.

"He went for the money," Gilyard told The Associated Press. "I'm fairly disgusted with the situation, that they let it last this long."

Players weren't told of Kelly's decision until the banquet ended, nearly three hours after the news first broke. A few blinked back tears as they left.

"We already knew what he was going to say. We weren't giving him a round of applause or anything," tight end Ben Guidugli said. "It's like somebody turned their back on us. We brought this whole thing this far. We've come this far. To have someone walk out now is disappointing."

"I don't like it," Gilyard said before the banquet. "I feel there was a little lying in the thing. 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."

Quarterback Tony Pike said Kelly told them last week, before their title-clinching win over Pittsburgh, that he was happy in 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.

Gilyard said some players were angry that Kelly's leaving just as the program had become nationally prominent.

"Just blindsided by the fact that it's a business," Gilyard said. "People lose sight of that. At the end of the day, NCAA football is a business. People have got to make business decisions."

...then there's this about the cmu incident, for those that are interested:

Kelly was criticized in September 2004 for remarks he made to the Detroit Free Press about perjury charges filed against two former Central Michigan players after other CMU players were charged with second-degree murder in the fatal beating of a man. The death happened shortly after Kelly was named Central's coach.

"A number of them were African-Americans that had been in that culture of violence, and they're taught to look away," Kelly said. "You don't want anything to do with it. Get out of there. You don't say anything to anybody."

Then-university President Michael Rao called Kelly's remarks "completely unacceptable" and Kelly apologized in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff. Rao then came out in support of the coach, saying he has a good heart and a record that showed a commitment to diversity.



December 11th, 2009 at 1:08 AM ^

Cincinnati isn't a major program, so why is he so terrible for taking a better job? Kids leave college for a better job, the NFL. Of course you feel bad for the players, because it sucks for them, but I don't think that makes Kelly a horrible human being.

If Turner Gill takes the Kansas job, does that make him a horrible person and jerk for turning his back on Buffalo? No, because Buffalo, like Cincinnati, is not a major program, and it will never be. Brian Kelly said it earlier this season:

Where do you think your facilities rank in the Big East?

"Negative. You can't even compare it to any of the teams in our league. There are no luxury boxes, so there is no revenue stream there, either. We have the smallest stadium [35,098 capacity]. From an infrastructure standpoint, the university has to decide if it wants to get it done or not."

But I am an impatient guy. That is my problem. We can't wait. Our new president will have these things on his table, and I'll keep doing my job and we'll see what comes up at the end of the year.

The guy wants a better job, so be it. I understand he misled the players, and that's a mistake he's made at a third consecutive school, but that doesn't make him horrible. If he would've said something last week, they definitely would've lost to Pitt, and they wouldn't be in a BCS bowl.


December 11th, 2009 at 8:24 AM ^

When a guy makes the same "mistake" of lying to his players at three consecutive stops, it's probably not really a mistake at that point. At this point, we can probably say it's reflective of his character.


December 11th, 2009 at 8:52 AM ^

Its a mistake to "mislead" your players the week before the Pitt game in order to keep them focused on the Big East title and the chance at an undefeated season?! It was reported that Cincinnati did very little to keep him - knowing ND was interested, listen to the Dan patrick interview again. BK was not misleading - he didn't guarantee he would coach the bowl game.
The Cincy players last night showed us the difference between college football players and adults.


December 11th, 2009 at 11:22 AM ^

Show some effort towards building the things that would establish the team as a long term power. Brian Kelly was asked where Cincinnati's facilities rank in the big east. His answer?

Negative. You can't even compare it to any of the teams in our league. There are no luxury boxes, so there is no revenue stream there, either. We have the smallest stadium [35,098 capacity]. From an infrastructure standpoint, the university has to decide if it wants to get it done or not.

The university has shown no effort to do any of this stuff. Would you want to stay where the administration puts little to no emphasis on what you do? Especially when you are offered the opportunity to join a program that is willing to do almost anything to make football successful. That actually has the infrastructure to be a powerhouse.


December 11th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

I specifically remember reading in one of the "What happens when Charlie W. gets fired" posts previous to this season that Kelly was at odds with the University over the lack of commitment to improving the facilities and thereby the program.

If he was making no headway on that front even with the year he was having - I don't blame him for leaving.

So I don't blame him for leaving regardless of how well he handled it.


December 11th, 2009 at 12:51 AM ^

It's a tough, tough life. Like was said earlier in this thread, we live in a capitalist society and most of our main goals are to climb up the ladder.

On one hand I can't blame Brian Kelly for taking this job, because he is looking out for what's best for his family and this is definitely a step up the ladder no matter what anyone thinks. Anyone in any career or job knows that sacrifices have to be made when it comes to one's family or themselves.

On the other hand, coaching, like a couple other professions, has different standards that most of society holds them to and that's what this comes down to.

It sucks and I feel bad for those players but this is the world we live in and I think, like Mardy said, we're starting to realize that college football is becoming a business and probably should be treated as such.

steve sharik

December 11th, 2009 at 11:30 PM ^

...had been offered a full ride to ND out of high school and was guaranteed to be the starting WR and that they would throw the ball 65% of the time, does he even sniff Cincinnati? Hell, no.

I think the Bearcat players have some legit gripes about being mislead, but there is also a lot of similarity with the WVU folks in thinking they're on par with a Michigan or a Notre Dame.

When an opportunity like this arises, it's damned hard to say no. If and when these players are in the NFL and they've finished their first contract with the Lions/Chiefs/Rams/Browns, and then the Steelers, Cowboys, and Patriots come calling, are they going to say, "no, I told my teammates I'm a _________" ? I hope these kids realize that this is like making shoes for Stride Rite and then Nike or Adidas make an offer.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:30 AM ^

Football coaching is just like any other career. You start out getting someone coffee and work your way up, moving from place to place until you get where you want to go. That isn't the problem. The big difference between college football and other professions is the emotional impact you have on the people you work with and the fans. In that sense, it isn't just a "job," and it bothers me when coaches lie to their players and hide behind the "it's a business" line when it becomes convenient for them. I understand that the ND job is a very good, high-paying job and Kelly is well within his rights to interview for it. But this does not excuse him from flat-out lying to the players that committed themselves to him and his program. For God's sake, tell them that you're interviewing for the job, and that you might take it. It may suck for the players regardless, but it's better than being lied to.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:41 AM ^

I agree. If Kelly can say that it's just business to the Cinci players, he should say that to his new players as well. On the recruiting trail, he should tell recruits that he's only looking out for #1 and if another team of the NFL comes calling, he'll bail.

I have a feeling he might not need to tell them that though, which may play into our favor.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:37 AM ^

BK runs his mouth, probably more than Weis. I don't think he fits ime. Let the drama begin. There are D1 programs and there are the "major" D1 programs like ND and Mich. Higher expectations, more press, more drama and more heartache. This was a rushed hire, ND jumped b/c of the luster of BK and his wins. BK had a good run this year but his team consisted of veterans, senior QB and other players. The similarities with UM's hire of RR are undeniable. I just hope UM doesn't languish like ND has with 4 different coaches.

Maize and Blue…

December 11th, 2009 at 8:57 AM ^

an openly pro-choice football caoach at a university whose student body and alumni just had a fit because they asked the POTUS, also pro-choice, to come speak on campus. I wonder how their fan base will react to this? Will winning football games trump philosopical and evangelical beliefs for alumni? It obviously has for the decision makers. How will this affect those future recruits who parents are devout catholics and would never vote for anyone pro-choice? Are they going to want this to be the man who is suppose to be molding their child?

Tim Waymen

December 11th, 2009 at 1:44 AM ^

Not to try to take higher moral ground, but RR (as far as we know) didn't look his players in the eye and say "I'm not going to Michigan. Ignore all the talk." His mistake was in saying that he would be in WV for the rest of his career, but that was more against the fans.

BK has to do what he needs to do--we know that--but he should not have lied to his players, especially after they were ditched by Dantonio. A player actually said after BK talked to the team something like, "Then again, Dantonio also looked us in the eye and told us he wasn't leaving."


December 11th, 2009 at 6:10 AM ^

RR stayed at WVU instead of going to Alabama because he was promised more money for his assistant coaches and significant facility upgrades. Therefore, he signed his extension and said that he would be at WVU for the rest of is career.

That obviously was sincere, since he turned down Alabama (a job with similar prestige as ND or Michigan).

The issue was that the WVU president and AD reneged on their promise of facility upgrades and more assistant pay. When RR realized that this happened, RR started looking elsewhere and accepted the Michigan job.

It's easy to pull random quotes and base an opinion from them, but please understand the entire story.


December 11th, 2009 at 8:11 AM ^

Honestly, who cares? Nobody in their right mind expected Brian Kelly to stay at Cincinnati. He's consistently shown a desire to move up in the ranks, from GVSU to CMU to UC. Did the players think UC was the pinnacle of college football? They went 12-0 and nobody in the entire country was even talking about them for a national championship game bid.

The dumber thing about this is that most of the guys who were interviewed on ESPN were seniors. Seriously, why are they pissed that this guy is "abandoning" them? They're either headed to the NFL or into the life of selling insurance. Not that they have a choice whether to continue playing in college, but still, he got them to their undefeated season and their bowl game. They should just be thankful that Mark Dantonio left, or else they wouldn't be 12-0 right now.

Coaches move up in the world, and it's not always because it's a "business." Some coaches want the challenge of coaching at a higher level, or they want the opportunity to win a national championship. That's not about "business." That's about satisfying personal goals. If these guys had a chance to play in the NFL but Brian Kelly wanted them to stick around and become assistant coaches, would they stay? Hell no. They would say, "Eh, maybe when I retire from playing, but right now I want to earn millions of dollars and try to make my name in the NFL."


December 11th, 2009 at 8:31 AM ^

I don't think anyone is begrudging his leaving for ND. It's that he apparently assured his players - as recently as Saturday after the game - that he would stay, only to bolt once he got the chance. There are ways to go about these things without stepping on everyone's toes.

The timing - walking away from a 12-0 team - is kind of iffy, too.


December 11th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

Just informed our team that Notre Dame has contacted me and I will listen to what they have to say.

From the weekend btw,

you and everyone else are putting too much stock into the highly emotional comments of only 2 players and this is all without any actual quote from Kelly. If he was the coach at any other school you wouldn't have given it a thought

Wide Open

December 11th, 2009 at 9:21 AM ^

They went 12-0 and nobody in the entire country was even talking about them for a national championship game bid.

But, Texas misses that one kick, and everybody has to talk about them for an MNC bid, because they'd likely be in it.

And, that senior class was the winningest in the history of the UC program. Of course they wanted to give Florida their best shot in the bowl game, but it seems to me like they had a lot of pride in what they helped build, and wanted to be known as the ones that started a dynasty at the school. It's hard to do when you're left scrambling for a new coach.


December 11th, 2009 at 8:41 AM ^

The timing isn't iffy. He's walking away from a 12-0 team that a) didn't get a national championship bid, b) is losing some key seniors, and c) isn't a traditional power. Notre Dame probably isn't going to wait a month without a coach. He either takes the job right now or the job goes to Randy Edsall. Coaches leave their teams prior to bowl games all the time. If Kelly were going to take the job, we all knew that he wouldn't be coaching UC in the bowl game.


December 11th, 2009 at 10:58 AM ^

I'm not talking about the timing being iffy for him. Cincinnati just capped off its best season in school history, and on the day of the team banquet, no less, he made it clear that he was bolting.


December 11th, 2009 at 12:46 PM ^

and whats the problem?

Anyone who takes a new coaching position is going to be playing from behind the moment they accept the job. Keeping the current team intact, hiring or rehiring the assistants, getting back into recruiting, not to mention all the parading the university will do, if he doesn't take the job at the first available opportunity he only makes his job harder. And we're talking about ND here, where the position is already a bit tough

Your crazy if you think he should stay any longer

Shalom Lansky

December 11th, 2009 at 9:12 AM ^

What effect do you think this will have on UC for their bowl game? I live in NOLA and was offered tix (for face value). As a Michigan fan I have no rooting interest but since I've never been to a bowl game I thought I'd give it a shot. Now I'm not sure if there will be a football game or two listless teams with shattered dreams going through the motions.


December 11th, 2009 at 9:17 AM ^

It would actually be a huge blow to the school's program if they went 3 or 4 weeks without a coach. Not only would Brian Kelly have less time to learn/work with his program, but he would then have to hire a staff to Notre Dame when they finally hired him in January.

Let's say Brian Kelly didn't get hired until January 3. It might take him two weeks to hire a staff. That puts him at January 17. Meanwhile, National Signing Day is coming up on February 3. That would give Kelly about 2.5 weeks to recruit players when he and his staff might not already know the current commits and/or other kids who might be interested in attending Notre Dame.


December 11th, 2009 at 11:37 AM ^

Which is a big problem, IMO. This is getting off the original topic, but either A) bowl games need to be pushed closer to the regular season (among many other reasons) or B) national signing day should be moved a month or two later.


December 11th, 2009 at 9:22 AM ^

I understand the harsh feelings the players have about the situation but this is the way things happen college football.

People leave early all the time.

I am sure have plenty of examples of college underclassmen leaving for the NFL early. Underclassmen who are key players who raised their teams to the highest levels. But I don't think we get mad or disappointed.

Frank Drebin

December 11th, 2009 at 9:47 AM ^

We are in a situation where we may lose our best DB early to the NFL, but none of us are mad at Warren for making a life changing business decision. We are dissapointed because we are selfish (I mean this as a positive) fans who want UM to win. If he goes, I wish him the best of luck. If Gilyard was good enough to go pro after his jr. year and chase the money, I am sure that Kelly wouldn't be crying to the media about loyalty. The writing is on the wall in college football. Players and coaches are always looking for the next best thing for them, whether it is a new team or leaving for the pros.


December 11th, 2009 at 9:51 AM ^

when Brian Kelly arrived in Cincy to take the head coaching job no one from the press came to the announcement. He was furious about that, and it really shows what kind of a program that school was before he got there. Add that to the small stadium, bad facilities, and low income and you get a good idea of how big a step up going to ND is for him.

The big problem with ND last year was much the same as Michigan. No defense. Brian Kelly is a great offensive mind, but he is not a defensive guy. Did anyone see Illinois put up a ton of points on this team? A second thing that is a bit weird is imagining ND in 5 wide spread passing attack all the time. There goes your running game... Fortunately for them, our DB's will probably be bad again next year and it will make for another high scoring game in the rivalry.


December 11th, 2009 at 10:01 AM ^

This exact circumstance is another reason why the BCS sucks. Do you think for one second that BK up and leaves UC if they are preparing for a matchup with Florida in an NCAA FB playoff? The same could be said for RR and his WVU team after losing to Pitt. If these premier teams (or teams like WVU, UC, TCU that have amazing seasons) had something else to play for besides the pomp, circumstance, and dare I say it "tradition" of meaningless BCS games like a CHANCE to play for a National Championship I would think coaches would think twice about jumping ship.

El Jeffe

December 11th, 2009 at 10:05 AM ^

Just to add some perspective, on the local news in Cinci they interviewed a bunch of players and I would say all were at least somewhat supportive of Kelly. In other words, despite what Gilyard was quoted as saying, he also said some positive things. Same thing with Isaiah Pead. Then there were a number of players who only said positive things, again, at least as broadcast on the local news.

Gee, it's almost as if the national media wanted to find the most controversial angle on the story and then present that in isolation from any facts that would contradict that angle...


December 11th, 2009 at 10:46 AM ^

I empathize with the players, but I, in no way, begrudge or am critical of BK for doing this.

I'm already thinking of taking the Over on wins for ND next year. Dude has won big with other people's players his whole career, dont see why that would change at ND.


December 11th, 2009 at 10:58 AM ^

Kelly is a liar:


"Obviously I'm very excited to stay here and I plan on being here a long time," Rodriguez said later at a news conference. "We've done some pretty good things over the last five years or so. We're not done yet. We're going to continue to grow."

BRIAN KELLY TWEETED THAT HE WAS INTERVIEWING FOR THE JOB. Rodriguez called recruits and told them he was leaving before he told his team. Come on, people. I like Rodriguez, but...come on.


December 11th, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

I find both situations to be less than what the player's deserved. Kelly needed a police escort last night when he went to the team's banquet. Tells you something about love or lack thereof.

While it won't happen, someone wrote a column in a Cinci paper that suggested that any coach leaving before his team finished their season, including bowl games, should be forced to sit out a year, similar to what players who switch programs experience.

I understand the rigors of recruiting, etc., but players deserve more than having their coach bolt, regardless of who he is, three weeks before a BCS bowl.


December 11th, 2009 at 12:56 PM ^

Yeah and every coach has a police escort when on the football field as well, what does that tell you.

The only reason you are at all at odds with this is because he is going to ND. He hasn't even been introduced as the Head Coach yet and you are already trying to find some reason to hate him. Man thats pathetic


December 11th, 2009 at 11:05 AM ^

Nobody even remotely thought that BK will leave Cincy. This came out of nowhere (sarcasm). We all knew that he is the next up and coming coach and eventually he will leave for a big time job. Why were the players so surprised? Don't they read the papers or watch TV? Everybody knew he will be the next ND coach, but as a coach you cannot say "I'm leaving" until you sign the contract, so how can you answer that question a week before that?


December 11th, 2009 at 11:10 AM ^

that Kelly left. He said in interviews that he had an agreement with the administration in place to expand various athletic facilities and they didn't come thru. Plus, they left him as a lame duck coach (no buyout, no extension), so what do they expect.

The players at Cincy I feel bad for. Welcome to what the rest of the world already knew, NCAA Football IS a business for everyone involved EXCEPT the players. They are modern day indentured servents, "Psst! Yeah, you kid with the 4.5 40 who can bench 300 lbs 20 times. I'll make you a deal, a free ride to the new world (college education), but you need to sweat and bleed for me for the next 4-5 years. I'm gonna make a ton of money off you, but give you little in return."

It makes the protests over a play-off even more laughable.

El Jeffe

December 11th, 2009 at 12:44 PM ^

This is not entirely true, and when I say "entirely" I mean "at all."

The new practice fields are planned and scheduled for construction this year. UC is extremely landlocked and doesn't have many big-pocket alumni, so there just isn't an obvious 25,000 ft^2 parcel of land and a warehouse of doubloons to turn into practice fields overnight.

Also, I believe (though I am prepared to be corrected) that UC extended Kelly's contract and gave him a big raise after each of the first two years. In countering ND, they offered him big dollars for a humble public school in Ohio (as opposed to the arrogant public school in Ohio up I-71).