Monday, December 14, 2009

Bad Form, Mr. Kelly

I have no stake and little interest in college football. My alma mater is Division III, and in nearly every aspect of the game, the professionals provide superior entertainment. That said, I think that Brian Kelly's recent decision to cut short his contract with the University of Cincinnati and accept the head coaching job at Notre Dame is truly poor sportsmanship and I feel terrible for UC players and fans.

To begin with, I don't understand the timetable of the situation. UC has risen to national prominence this year, going undefeated in the regular season and earning a Bowl game against the University of Florida, an historic program led by a serious Heisman candidate. Rather than finishing what he started, Mr. Kelly has chosen to move immediately to a higher paying job with a team whose season is effectively over. Would Notre Dame's interest really have waned if Mr. Kelly had finished out the season and perhaps even coached the team to a Sugar Bowl victory?

Perhaps more importantly, I don't understand Mr. Kelly's lack of commitment. In my experience, one's teammates are what make team sports worth playing. We are able to give our greatest efforts only because we can stand on the line, waiting for play to begin, look our teammates in the eye and know that they are going to give the same. Our delight in victory is magnified because it is shared. Granted, I've never been offered a multimillion dollar contract, but to abandon one's team for money would seem to suck the sport of all its joy.

In light of this loss and a remarkable season, I wish UC the very best against Florida.

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