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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Notre Dame's football coach: not the best example for our youth

We expect appropriate behavior from youth sports coaches in this day and age.

It’s not good enough that they just show up: we place an expectation with regard to and a value on not only the skills they have and are able to share, but their overall comportment.  As in, how they behave, the example they set and the language they use when interacting with impressionable youngsters.

So it’s fair to say that the bar should be set even higher when talking about college coaches.

I was among those who thought that Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly’s language and behavior on the sidelines during the team’s opening’s game a week ago was just plain poor, and a sad example for our youth.  (I'm guessing it's all over You Tube by now...)  This from an individual who holds one of the most prestigious jobs in sports and is paid handsomely to do so.

And it’s no excuse to say, as he evidently did, that he wasn’t aware he would be on television so much.  Coaches are always shown on television, and everyone knows it—Kelly included. 

Kelly came to Notre Dame after what I thought was a less than forthcoming departure from his previous school (see my earlier blog post on our Prospect Communications site). He handled that situation very poorly, as well.

While I understand that the focus is always on “winning” at the NCAA level, surely any school, and one would think Notre Dame as an academic institution, believes in values, too.

I wonder how many parents of young prospective Notre Dame student-athletes saw Kelly on television and wondered, “is that going to be the right environment for my son…?”

Forget their current (0 and 2) record; this latest episode makes one wonder if the school got the “right guy” when they were looking for a new coach less than two years ago.