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

Submitted by blueadams on December 10th, 2009 at 11:11 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4732205

...here are some quotes from the espn.com 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.

Comments

Don

December 11th, 2009 at 11:19 AM ^

or rather, those at Cinci who didn't understand what an offer from ND would mean to Kelly. It's no different from RR leaving WVU for Michigan. It's a step up in the world of college football. I can't recall Urban Meyer getting hammered for leaving BG after just two years for Utah, nor for leaving Utah after just two years for Florida. And it's no different than it's always been. Go check out the records of such legendary coaches as Bryant and Royal. They didn't always coach at Alabama and Texas. Bryant and Royal and Bo and Paterno stayed as long as they did at their final schools because there was no higher place to go—they could only have made a lateral or downward move. If anybody thinks Bo Schembechler would have stayed 21 years at Indiana they're deluding themselves.

mmc22

December 11th, 2009 at 11:25 AM ^

I don't get it! This is like accusing a minor league player of treachery because he signed with a major league team. Of course if he stays they will be good for a long time, but he's 12-0 this year and nobody even mention about Cincy playing in the NC. ND is one of the elite programs in the country and this kind of job is not available all the time. This is one in a lifetime opportunity. Who knows, maybe next time, when this kind of opportunity presents itself, he may not be the first choice and then you get stuck at Cincy. Just think about, D'Antonio left Cincy for MSU. Isn't that telling you enough about the Cincy job?

Magnus

December 11th, 2009 at 11:28 AM ^

I think it would be a good rule if coaches had to sit out for a year if they left early.

That being said, I think there would also have to be a penalty for institutions who fire their coaches mid-season.

If everything's going to be fair, you have to hold all parties accountable.

maizenbluenc

December 11th, 2009 at 11:30 AM ^

First of all, you have to give the Bearcat players their due - they are not a historically elite team, and not in an elite conference, but they have played at a level as a team to put them in the hunt this year. They are rightfully proud of that accomplishment.

That said, much like the West Virginia fans (and apparently AD, University President and Governor), it is hard after being successful, and coming so close, to hear someone they had put so much belief in tell them they are not elite.

To me the laughable aspect in a year when so many players are thinking about entering the draft because of salary cap changes, the players get upset when the coach goes for the prestige and the money.

The man is making a career move. He as an opportunity to be the head coach for Notre Dame.

Wendyk5

December 11th, 2009 at 12:06 PM ^

Sure, it's about money and prestige. But as a coach in college football, you owe it to your players to see them through the season, especially a season like they're having. It just goes to show you that for some it's about "the team, the team, the team" and for others, it isn't.