Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Golddomedammerung: Baggage check for Brian Kelly

What could keep Brian Kelly from being Notre Dame's next head coach? Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton brings up the sticking points in what could derail Kelly's taking on the job. Some of it would involve how he has handled situations with players accused of criminal activity both at Cincinnati and at Central Michigan.
The Central Michigan situation was a doozy. The Chicago Tribune's David Haugh described a June, 2004 incident where four or more Central Michigan players were involved in a fight three months before Kelly's first season. The fight resulted in the death of a man named Demarcus Graham. According to Haugh:

Two former CMU players eventually pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and two pleaded no contest to attempted assault with a dangerous weapon, according to court records.

Kelly responded with team discipline as well as any new coach could. But he embroiled himself in controversy explaining why several CMU players may have perjured themselves trying to protect a teammate.

"For example, a number of them were African-Americans that had been in that culture of violence, and they're taught to look away," Kelly said in the Sept. 22, 2005, edition of the Detroit Free Press. "You don't want anything to do with it. Get out of there. You don't say anything to anybody.

"That is a culture that they are immersed in. When they come here, their first reaction is to react the way they've been taught to react in their culture and in their environment. That's difficult."

Kelly ended up being reprimanded for his comments.
And if that weren't enough, At Cincinnati Hinton reports on an incident where players were accused of sexual assault. That news surely wouldn't make ND president Rev. John I. Jenkins happy. Neither would the claims that Kelly is pro-choice, which sadly may be an even bigger sticking point for some.
For a school that values it's standards, these incidents could be a serious drawback to Kelly becoming head coach at Notre Dame. They could also indicate how long a leash he would be on if he gets the job. Notre Dame and it's fans expect a winning team, but they also expect a clean program. Kelly's background may show a problem or two with control.

(via Dr. Saturday, Chicago Tribune)

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