This. This thing. Right here

The 85-scholarship limit the NCAA imposes sometimes leads to more than its fair share of brinksmanship.  Players chose to leave for whatever reason, recruits do or don’t make their grades, spring football results in injuries, etc. etc.  No matter what happens, when the whistle blows this fall, you only can have 85 football players signed for scholarships.

When you’re currently at 89 players, as Notre Dame was earlier this week, that means four guys who had scholarships last year won’t have them next year, and arrangements must needs be made.  Players with eligibility remaining won’t be able to return.  Some are ready to move on, others may not be, but regardless of motivation, the number must be reached.

Earlier this week, senior defensive end Jay Hayes decided to become a graduate transfer.

On the numbers, it’s a choice that makes sense.  Hayes was competing with juniors-to-be Khalid Kareem and Ade Ogundeji at RDE going into the spring, and talented frosh Justin Ademilola would be arriving this summer.  With Hayes receiving his degree and starting a family and only one season left to showcase himself for NFL scouts, one could logically see the desire for a clearer path to starting.  That’s what the graduate transfer program was meant for, and Hayes is making good use of it.  You don’t want to see experienced players leave, but there’s a reasonable explanation here.  The sensible response would be to thank him for everything he did for the ND program and wish him well.

That would be the sensible thing.  So of course, that’s not what Brian Kelly did:

“Jay understands the standards that we have here and he just felt like a change would be better for him,” coach Brian Kelly said Saturday after practice.  “We gave him the opportunity to come back if he could meet the standards that we set here.”

Are you kidding me?  Are you f#@$ing kidding me??  You have a kid at a position of quality depth deciding to transfer for his graduate season.  He’s helping himself without hurting you too much, but rather than move on with some platitudes, you have to remind the universe he must be leaving because he doesn’t meet the Brian Kelly Standard.  It’s not enough to thank the kid.  You can’t do that, because he gave you the slightest of perceived slights, and God forbid you let that go without addressing it.

I don’t know anything about Jay Hayes other than what I’ve seen on the field.  I have no evidence as to what kind of player or teammate or person he is.  And neither do 99 percent of the other people in the college football universe.  All we know is a Notre Dame player decided he’d be better served elsewhere, and while that’s generally not optimal, the readily-available evidence shows a decision that will work out for everyone involved.  All other things equal, no blood no foul.

So why dump all over that pontificating about “standards”?  Are these the the same “standards” that led to an entire season’s worth of vacated wins, Brian? Is the coach with the most losses in Notre Dame football history really going to play the “standards” card while denigrating a kid who isn’t hurting him at all?

A lot of people get on my (and NDNation’s) case because I(we) give Brian Kelly a hard time.  We’re not fair to him, they say, we’ve been against him from the start, we haven’t given him a fair shake.  He’s doing the best he can, and he’s the best we can hope for, they say.

My answer is in that quote above, because that’s the whole issue in a nutshell.  Brian couldn’t resist the chance to throw yet another player who he thought embarrassed him under the bus.  If it comes to choosing sides, I’ll chose a soon-to-be fellow ND alumnus who’s doing us no harm than the guy who’s been bitching and moaning since he got here and whose lack of oversight cost us the all-time winning percentage lead for the foreseeable future.

I can’t wait for one of them to be gone.  Guess which one.


50 thoughts on “This. This thing. Right here

  1. The same writer / website that’s ripped Kelly when he looked at other opportunities and Gholson when he transferred.
    Same old ND Nation, 1988ers.

    • Mike Coffey says:

      I don’t recall anyone ripping Golson’s transfer. And someone “looking at other opportunities” barely 3 years in and 24 hours after the clownrape in the Orange Bowl deserves criticism.

      • Kelly interviewed prior to the Orange bowl. So concerned about our team you can’t even get the timeline right. You’re a loyal fan… or something

        • Mike Coffey says:

          No, he interviewed after the Orange Bowl. 24 hours or more after. If it was prior, it’s even worse than your say.

          • The interview was at 9:00 am the morning after the clownrape. Or, about 9 hours after the final gun

    • John Vannie says:

      Do you believe Kelly’s comments regarding Hayes were appropriate? Please explain your logic.

    • beattherush says:

      So concerned for our players that he can’t spell their names right.

      But he’s defending Kelly. He’s a loyal fan… of something. Uniforms, maybe. Sparkly helmets.

    • RallyingSon says:

      Very few, if any, people here criticized Golson’s transfer. (I honestly don’t remember anybody doing so.) It’s almost invariable Kelly apologist who get butthurt when players leave “early.” For example the twitter trolls cyberstalking Kizer and Tuitt to tell them how much they suck are among the biggest Kelly die-hards on the Internet.

      Golson. No H.

  2. The faux outrage about everything from this website is comical

    Kelly derangement syndrome

    It’s embarrassing

    • Mike Coffey says:

      How exactly is it faux? Kelly went out of his way to criticize a kid for no reason, just like he always does.

  3. Ifs faux because you have no idea if the kid was smoking grass, failing class,
    Not showing up for meetings

    It’s always a leap to kelly sucks and jack sucks

    Its a one note website, with one note posters

    • Mike Coffey says:

      That’s exactly my point. No one does, and you don’t either. But Kelly made it a thing by commenting about “standards” when he had no reason to. Typical jackass behavior.

      • I’m going to guess kelly knows more than either you or I


        Urban and Satan and 99 other coaches would have said the same thing

        It’s bitching for the sake of bitching

        I know if I ran a website and my traffic was down 27 percent y/o/y
        I might try a different approach to the constant negative drumbeat.

        Even talking about spring ball has become off limits by snark

        • Mike Coffey says:

          No, they probably wouldn’t have. They would have just said “he wanted to go a different way, hope it works out for them, etc.”.

          There’s a difference between “estimate” and “actual”, but obviously you’re still here, “dave at yahoo dot com”.

          • And that decision didn’t sit well with Saban, who on his radio show voiced his displeasure with the unconventional transfer.

            “It’s one of those things where I think the culture has changed a little bit,” Saban said. “I think there’s a certain pride people have in competition. There’s certain things that I was taught growing up about not quitting and seeing things through. I think if I would have come home and told my dad that I was going to quit the team, I think he would have kicked me out of the house. I don’t think I’d have a place to stay.”

            That Saban was upset didn’t surprise Barnett. He knew he would be, but he didn’t expect him to be so public about it.

            “Obviously, I didn’t expect them to be happy in any way. Them being upset and holding a grudge — that was expected to me,” Barnett said. “The only thing I took offense to is that Saban goes out to media and tried to diminish my reputation for a decision I made that was best for my career individually. It was kind offensive that he would go out and bash a 20-year-old.”

          • Mike Coffey says:

            Of course, you didn’t include the parts before that where the players involved were critical of Saban in the press before they left, “dave at yahoo dot com”

          • Mike Coffey says:

            The point you continue to miss is Hayes said absolutely nothing about ND in general or Kelly in particular that would have drawn criticism. He was a senior with an easy transfer option at a very deep position who wanted a more sure thing for himself. If Kelly had said nothing, this whole thing would be nothing. But Kelly, as is his wont, couldn’t let this go without trying to make himself look better in a situation where it absolutely wasn’t required, making one more attempt to throw one of his players he thought made him look bad under the hypothetical bus. Why you (and others) would condone that behavior rather than support players who have put forth effort to help ND win is beyond me.

          • I’m of the mind that if Kelly had just said…” We thank Jay for his contributions over the last 4 years and wish him well in the future”.. Had he done that, all would be fine.

        • Giggity_Giggity says:

          I guess I don’t understand why or how anyone would give him the benefit of the doubt anymore.

          Have you been having fun watching ND football and this average asshole that coaches them? Are you seriously so pleased with the shitty record, the inexplicable losses, and the general debasement of the program that you’ll come on here to defend the guy?

          Jesus, man, have some dignity.

          • Debasement of the program?

            David Willingham and Weis say hi.

            The program has been crap for a good long time. Debasement of the program isn’t in Kelly’s shoulders.

            Following an investigation in 1999, the NCAA placed Notre Dame on two years probation for extra benefits provided to football players between 1993 and 1999 by Kim Dunbar, a South Bend bookkeeper involved in a $1.4 million embezzlement scheme at her employer, as well as one instance of academic fraud that occurred under Holtz’s successor, Bob Davie. The NCAA found that Holtz and members of his staff learned of the violations but failed to make appropriate inquiry or to take prompt action, finding Holtz’s efforts “inadequate.”[19][20]

        • Mike Coffey says:

          He knows what? That a kid who said nothing to disparage him while leaving deserves disparagement? If Hayes had made obnoxious interviews on the way out, fine, he opened himself up to whatever response he gets. But this kid, as far as I (and anyone else in the public realm) can tell, played hard on the field and left with nothing but thanks. Why shit on him? Even if he “knows” private things, why drag those private things into the public view? Only a shithead does that.

        • Knows what? How to keep kids eligible? How to keep student videographers from dying during practice? How to keep from becoming the only head coach in Notre Dame history to have wins vacated on his watch? How to keep from blaming his center after losing a game with a gameplan that would embarrass a Pop Warner coach? How to keep from maligning DeShone Kizer for no good reason? How to keep Kelly from losing more games than any coach in Notre Dame history — without a championship to show for it?

          There are some things we know about Kelly. What do you know about Kelly, dipshit?

          • It’s his fault declan died, and his fault players cheated academically.
            He was also correct that kizer should have stayed in school. Maybe you missed his ass piss performance with the browns last year?

            Kelly derangement syndrome is strong with this one

            I know he’s better than the last three coaches we’ve had. I know we haven’t been consistently good since 1993. 25 years of mediocrity is who we are.

            Yelling kelly sucks in a echo chamber isn’t making anything better, but you do you.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            No, it’s his fault the culture of the program allowed for those things. He’s the head coach, the buck stops on his desk. The fact that he’s better than three failures doesn’t automatically make him a success. Your lack of self esteem when it comes to Notre Dame isn’t our problem.

    • If he was failing or smoking grass he’d have other issues and couldn’t get his degree and be a graduate transfer.

      Your logic is lacking.

    • Kevin Byrnes says:

      It’s most certainly not a one-note site. Your analytical abilities are sorely lacking. No matter what Hayes might have done or what Kelly knew, the appropriate response from the HC was to be anodyne, not read-between-the-lines snarky.

  4. The point you continue to miss is Hayes said absolutely nothing about ND in general or Kelly in particular that would have drawn criticism. He was a senior with an easy transfer option at a very deep position who wanted a more sure thing for himself. If Kelly had said nothing, this whole thing would be nothing.

    You miss the point that it’s a nothingburger except right here on Ndnation

    It’s always the same circle jerk echo chamber

    It’s certainly not worth an editorial in which you also take a gratuitous shot at kelly for players cheating as if he should read their homework

    Kelly derangement syndrome is real

    • Mike Coffey says:

      He shouldn’t read their homework. He should create a program culture where cheating isn’t looked at as an option, just like violating probation and getting busted for drugs.

      Then again, people who use words like “nothingburger” shouldn’t surprise me this way.

      We get it, you think Kelly is the best ND can do. Sorry, we disagree.

  5. This is a good point – all you are asking for is professionalism in leadership. Jay Hayes acted like a professional: Kelly made the choice to go out of his way to go after him. Even if Kelly “knows” something, he doesn’t need to call out a specific player like that – that’s what generic coach-speak is for.

    Put it this way: what does Kelly gain by going after Hayes ? What did he lose? Was it worth it?

  6. I don’t know why people have such a hard time grasping the point.

    Why is it necessary to take a shot at Hayes as he’s leaving? Even if he did something wrong that led to the decision, there is no value in criticizing him after his decision to leave Notre Dame. Simply thank the young man for his efforts and wish him well. Be gracious because it’s the right thing to do; and if you can’t do it because it’s the right thing to do, do it because it’s the smart thing to do.

    I have seen many businesses fire executives for cause or performance and then issue a release that says the person is leaving to pursue other opportunities and wishing him or her well. Everyone understands that the person was fired. Everyone understands that the business’s leadership is happy to move on to better leadership and performance. Yet the business’s leadership understands that a gracious statement is better for everyone involved. Honestly, I am not surprised that Brian Kelly doesn’t grasp this notion based on his many comparably impolitic statements in the past; but I’m surprised that nobody in the Athletic Department’s media group filtered the comment before it was released. Or maybe someone did, but the coach insisted on the message in its original form.

    I won’t speak for anyone else, but I know I’m being consistent. I said and posted the same criticism when Muffet McGraw publicly criticized Jewell Loyd’s decision to become a pro with a year of eligibility remaining. Coach McGraw is one of the best of all time at Notre Dame and in her sport, but that wasn’t her finest moment. However, it’s the only time I can remember her being less than gracious publicly. I can’t say the same about Brian Kelly.

    Finally, I saw a comment above saying Nick Saban had a similar reaction to an Alabama player’s departure. He was wrong, too. More to the point, defending Brian Kelly by drawing equivalence to Saban, a man who recently was descrived as “an asshole of such selfish mindset and narcissistic instinct as to personally repel anyone not interested in what he can do for them,” is not the strongest defense.

    • If Jewell Loyd had been classier herself in making her announcement she might have avoided criticism. She announced with even warning the coaching staff which was an inconsiderate way to do it.

      • I’d really rather not re-litigate the McGraw-Loyd situation. They have reconciled their difference, so it’s history.

        The only reason I included that situation in my post was to demonstrate my consistency. I hold every Notre Dame to the same standard whether it’s a football coach with a 48-34 record or one of the greatest coaches in the history of Notre Dame athletics. The high road is the right choice. There is no value to criticizing a player who is on the way out the door.

        I don’t know how the Loyd situation affected Coach McGraw’s commentary choices later, but Taya Reimer’s departure the next season and the young woman’s tweet about karma when the Irish lost in the tournament were opportunities for the coach to make disparaging remarks. She didn’t do so, and I believe that was the right decision.

    • Word. Even if Hayes does something Sandusky-esque, there would be no reason for Flipper to say anything negative about Hayes. Leave it to reporters like ByMarriage if there’s anything to find out about Hayes.

  7. I didn’t think Kelly’s comments were all that bad. And, if not mistaken, Jay Hayes had, over the years, made some comments on social media that were injurious to the team. What I don’t understand is scheduling Michigan and Stanford, two teams that have publicly ridiculed us. After the band incident, where Stanford mocked the pope, I would have said “We are done with you guys.” We play these two “jerk” schools while dropping more honorable opponents.

  8. Two ships passing in the night, as the saying goes. One passes with a classy, positive, articulate statement. The other, just what has come to be the standard–a cheap shot, classless, and far below what the head coach at ND should say. However, this kind of view by said coach has become all too common.

  9. I watched Villanova win a title with a school enrollment less than NDs and I watch as they reload their program and keep winning while kids keep graduating. I watch a coach win with humility and credit his players. I also watch ND unable to win big games year in and year out, I watch an ND coach speak with arrogance and criticize his players repeatedly and blame everyone but himself for 8 years of slightly above average football. I listen to talk over and over about this is as good as ND can do but watch schools like Stanford with higher academic standards do better and smaller schools with high academic standards like Villanova build powerhouses with players graduating.
    As horrific as Kelly is as a person and a coach, so is the athletic department and administration who keeps him around and piles BS on the fans with thoughts that this is as good as it can be.

  10. Wow, you guys must not have much to worry about in your lives… I just watched the video of Kelly discussing Hayes’ release on WSBT… big deal! By your reaction you would think Kelly had killed someone. You would probably be a lot happier if you focused on something other than nit picking the day to day comments of a football coach.

    • Mike Coffey says:

      I don’t think he killed anyone. I’m disappointed he once again chose to disparage a player in an effort to deflect the possibility of criticism. This was supposed to be a thing of the past for the Brian Kelly reboot. Obviously it’s not.

  11. Go back to when Kelly was announced as the head coach for Notre Dame. In his first press conference he stated, “There are college football coaches, then there is the coach at Notre Dame”. He immediately put himself at the top of the pedestal.

    He has yet to put his team at the top of the pedestal. He has only caused controversy. He is a total jerk and nobody can convince me of otherwise.

    We have rapist, dopers, cheaters and thieves on the football team at NOTRE DAME. Instead of playing with that type of player and having seasons like Alabama and Ohio State, we can’t win. We get victories vacated as well.

    Get rid of the bum!

  12. If Kelly loses 3 games or more this coming season he should be fired. The problem is as long as Notre Dame sticks with these over the top schedules and refuses to bend some on admissions what top coach will take this job. Urban Meyer had 2 chances to come to his dream job and decided to go to Florida and Ohio State. Wonder why?

    • Mike Coffey says:

      Brian Kelly gets more admissions breaks right now than any coach since Holtz. And I wouldn’t call schedules like 2019 “over the top” at all.

  13. I see a lot of Kelly apologists saying “he knows more than we do.” Sure, but if Hayes was such a problem
    (i.e., smoking grass, not showing up for class), why was he still here for 4 years? Others with those
    problems have been shown the door, and their transgressions have been well documented. With all the
    other problems this team has had under Brian Kelly’s “leadership,” the only thing that has come out
    about Jay Hayes in 4 years was 2 tweets in September 2015 that criticized the coaching staff–a
    coaching staff that just about everyone at this point agrees was very much deserving of criticism
    (hi, BVG). On its own, this isn’t a big deal. The problem is, we have a laundry list of statements and
    actions from Brian Kelly that show he is a petty, insecure man. This is all just another example of those

  14. I am no Brain Kelly fan. He has berated & grabbed players on the sidelines in full view of fans and alumni watching on national TV. he has all the talent in the world and no imagination on offense. Remember Woody Hayes ” 3 yards & a cloud of dust”. Well that doesn’t work anymore in college football, but BK must think so. ND advanced to the National Championship game because of Manti Teo and that great defense. The offense has done nothing in the BK era. Get rid of him and bring in a coach with some imagination on offense and you will see ND at the TOP of the Rankings

  15. Mike, I get your point and see how Coach Kelly could have chosen his words more carefully, but I really think you’re stretching. Where you see a dig, I see a throwaway statement, and I don’t think I’m alone. There’s no “there” there (at least as far as this quote goes – there’s plenty of better examples we can discuss).