The University of Notre Dame’s football coach Brian Kelly had a rough day yesterday. A very rough day. His team had five turnovers at the worst possible moments—many of them in the red zone. The loss is damaging to Notre Dame because many thought this season would be different from so many others when the Irish seemed poised for greatness only to fail.
While what happened on the field was disappointing, I think what occurred on the sidelines was worse. A purple-faced Brian Kelly cursed and screamed at not only at his players (who are 18-23 years old), but he did it on national television for people of all ages to see. And let me tell you something, you didn’t need to be a lip reader to figure out what he was saying. By the look on my 11-year-old’s face, she figured it out pretty quick.
To put it bluntly, if there was a drinking game where you drank every time Kelly cursed I would’ve needed help getting off the couch, never mind getting to bed.
This is not far from an isolated incident. I saw Charlie Weis cursing on the sidelines many times, as well. In fact, “60 Minutes” showed him coaching and cursing up a storm.
I’ve seen Brian Kelly in interviews, and he seems like a decent guy, but isn’t this type of behavior unfit for any grown-up, never mind the most recognizable face of the country’s most well-known Catholic university?
I understand football coaches aren’t kindergarten teachers. But given the reality of the game and knowing that families are watching, couldn’t we curb the f-bombs? You’d think Notre Dame football games are something I could sit down and watch with my kids.
I’m a fan and let me tell you, when that interception occurred in the third quarter I wanted to scream at my television. But you know what, I didn’t. I didn’t because my kids were watching. I’ve had setbacks in life but I don’t flip out, become so purple-faced I look like an oompa-loompa, get in people’s faces, curse at them, and chase them down so I can curse at them some more. I don’t. And if you ask me, The University of Notre Dame shouldn’t allow it either.
Greg Pollowitz of NRO’s Right Field said today that he believed Kelly should be fired:
I think the trustees of the university should fire him this morning. Not because of the loss, but because of the way he treated his players. This is really uncalled for.
I don’t think calling for Kelly’s job is necessary or even appropriate ... yet. But the trustees and the administration should let Kelly know that kind of behavior is unacceptable. Completely unacceptable.
We can argue about how Catholic Notre Dame is, but the fact is that Notre Dame is the most well-known Catholic institution. Screaming and cursing at young students like that just isn’t acceptable.
On one hand, people at home are watching and don’t need you tossing f-bombs into their living room. And on the other hand, it’s not appropriate behavior whether the cameras are there or not.
George O’Leary was fired just weeks after being hired as the head coach of football at Notre Dame for lying on his resume. Is Brian Kelly’s cursing at young men on national television more acceptable? I don’t think so.