Three days after saying "leaving Notre Dame is not an option," Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Just once I'd like a school to not give in to this professional bluff/blackmail. College coaches do this all the time. Express some sort of interest in an NFL job or let it be known that NFL teams are "interested" in them. All of this is intended to do one thing.
Get a raise.
They make it look like their stock is so good that they could leave but they will do you the honor of staying, just so long as you take my $2.5 million salary and make it $3.5 million.
Now if Kelly really is interested in the Philly job, then why do you say, "leaving is not an option," three days earlier? Just taking the interview with the Eagles, even if you do stay, is going to hurt you on the recruiting trail, not just this year but for many years. Does anyone think this opportunity, an interview with the Eagles less than 24 hours after losing to Alabama 42-14 in the BCS title game, came up after he claimed it was not an "option?"
Of course not.
It even happens at the college level.
Les Miles was making over $4 million a year at LSU and entertained the thought of leaving for Arkansas. They fell for it and now Les makes over $5 million.
When will one of these schools stand up and tell a coach he can go ahead and leave, that he's being paid a lot of money, and they'll find someone else who likes that salary.
Because if they extort you once, they'll never stop.
So some college, and Notre Dame has the gravitas to do it, needs to stop it and call these guys' bluffs.
Notre Dame gave Kelly a two-year extension through 2016 just a year ago. Notre Dame did not blame Kelly for the death of a student who was videotaping practice from a crane and fell after it was blown over by high winds. Notre Dame gave Kelly one of the most prestigious jobs in sports. Notre Dame has been very good to Brian Kelly and had his back.
If Kelly wasn't truthful a few days ago and really does want to coach the Eagles, then if they hire him, oh well. But if what is most likely the case, that he is using the interview to get a raise from his current employer, they should be angry.
Brian Kelly is a very good coach. He has won everywhere he has been. His leaving would be a bigger loss for Notre Dame, particularly at this awkward time of the year -- recruiting-wise it's a crusher -- than any coach since Lou Holtz left in 1996.
Either he works for you, or you work for him? Which is it going to be?
Notre Dame would be much better served saying it was thrilled that an NFL team thought enough of Kelly to want to hire him, but if Kelly wants to leave, some really good coaches will want the job.
Left unsaid would be -- but Kelly is not getting another dime.
Not one. Not now.
Just once, it'd be nice to see a college take its power back.
Anybody think that happens here?
Or do you see a generous raise and another extension?
If so, Notre Dame will have gotten its butts kicked twice this week.
Once by Alabama.
And once by their own coach.