While Big Ten execs were enjoying their little get-together in Chicago, Brian Kelly was in Cedar Rapids to address Notre Dame alums in Eastern Iowa. Kelly was asked again about the Fighting Irish becoming members of the Big Ten.
Ted DiBiase gained professional wrestling fame by playing the villainous character "The Million Dollar Man." Through a series of vignettes, he always got his point across:
"Everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man."
Truer words were never spoken. Yes, everybody has a price, even Notre Dame.
Fighting Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick acknowledged Tuesday that the school is considering giving up its football independence and joining a league, likely the Big Ten. The reason, of course, is money.
Notre Dame, with its NBC contract that runs through 2015, is falling behind in the race for TV dollars, even against in-state teams Purdue and Indiana.
Mark Bergin writes: "The recent hire of Brian Kelly to succeed Charlie Weis as head football coach at Notre Dame raised more than a few eyebrows among devout Catholic alumni, many of whom have helped build the school's $6 billion endowment. Kelly has a history of association with left-leaning politicians, including working for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1984. Such ties have prompted some Fighting Irish faithful to wonder aloud if Kelly supports legalized abortion."
Not everybody is happy for Brian Kelly. Notre Dame's new coach left a group of angry players behind at Cincinnati.
Kelly told Bearcat players he was leaving in a meeting after the team banquet Thursday night.
"He went for that money, that wasn't no time for me to be in there," said receiver Mardy Gilyard, who walked out of the meeting a minute after it started.
"I don't want to hear it. I'm thoroughly disgusted with this situation, that it lasted this long. I heard everything I needed to hear, and that was, 'I accepted the Notre Dame job.' "
Kelly secretly met with Notre Dame officials last week before the Bearcats' game against Pittsburgh and he told his players they would be the first to know if he decided to make the move to South Bend. As it turned out, they were among the last to know.