Kelly is two days removed from saying that going to the NFL was not an option and has referred to the job in South Bend as his “dream job,” but here is Kelly interviewing with the Eagles and looking to cash in not even 48 hours after his team was embarrassed by Alabama in the Discover BCS National Championship Game.
I don’t have a problem with coaches trying to support themselves and their family and trying to find the best job possible, but I do have a big problem with saying one thing and then doing the opposite.
In addition to Kelly displaying a case of hypocrisy, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien interviewed with the Cleveland Browns in order to gain leverage to squeeze more money out of the school that gave him his first head coaching job. O’Brien took the interview and then professed that he was “not a one-and-done guy.” If you’re not a one-and-done guy, then why are you taking the interview in the first place?
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly flirted with the NFL for two seasons in a row and retreated back to Eugene, where he is likely to see a big boost in his paycheck courtesy of Phil Knight and the rest of the Ducks boosters. His interest in the NFL may be more genuine than the previous two coaches, but at the end of the day I don’t see how potential recruits can trust him anymore than them either.
If I am competing against any of these three coaches for recruits you better believe I am using their recent interviews as a reason for them not to go to their schools. How can you trust that the he will be there for the duration of the potential recruit’s career and not jump at the first chance at a big payday elsewhere?
Brian Kelly is likely to see a considerable raise and extension in the coming days as a result of this interview as I doubt he has any legitimate interest in the Eagles job, and flat-out used them to inflate his bank account.
The trend in college athletics needs to stop and guys like Boise State head coach Chris Petersen and Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern who represent two of the game’s best young coaches that I don’t see abusing the system to inflate their savings account and risk alienating their fan base.
Kelly is not the first coach to pull this move, and certainly won’t be the last, but for the good of college football, I wish he were.
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt