When word leaked of the contract numbers, it became pretty obvious why Kelly decided to make the move, but it still seems surprising that any coach would leave Notre Dame to pursue a “better” college football job.
Speculation is running wild about who will replace Kelly as head coach and the manner in which he left, but in the meantime, Irish alums are left wondering why it happened and what it means for their program.
CBS Sports and Fox Sports football analyst Brady Quinn, who played quarterback for Notre Dame, spoke about Kelly’s decision and tried to make sense of it from the golden domer perspective. Quinn seems to think a lack of modern facilities and an inability to keep up with the SEC is what did Notre Dame in here.
"Why? What would entice you to go to LSU?"
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 30, 2021
“You know, I think the first thing that comes to mind is why?” asked Quinn. “What would entice you to go to LSU? Considering (Notre Dame) very well could find themselves, depending on how things play out this Saturday, in the College Football Playoff playing for a national championship. And so that’s the awkwardness of the current situation. So then when you dig a little deeper and you kind of look at it, you go okay, what wasn’t done at Notre Dame that maybe Brian Kelly had asked for? An indoor facility or, it’s recently built, but they want a new football facility. That hasn’t been done yet.
“I’ve heard that that was a frustrating part in this breakup if you will … Other resources and things that he asked for maybe weren’t there, at least not to the degree that LSU was able to provide. I mean, let’s not get this twisted, LSU is desperate. They already made it very well aware they wanted Lincoln Riley. They tried to swing for the fences with some names, but nothing really came through. And so they did their best to pay Brian Kelly, which I heard … seven years, $100 million … So still a lot to be determined.”
According to Dennis Dodd, those numbers are more like $75 million over five years, but the point remains the same.
Obviously, Quinn seems to have some bias in how he’s looking at the situation, referring to LSU as “desperate.” That’s a bit much. But there may be something to his point about facilities and Notre Dame’s ability to keep up with Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia, and the other programs who routinely beat out the Irish each season.
We expect plenty more former Notre Dame players to chime in about Kelly’s decision in the coming days. Grab your popcorn.