Someone on Twitter dug this up from 2019:
Now, I’m not sure how common this is among football coaches in general. I don’t know if this is a Brian Kelly thing, or if this common practice for GAs, or what.
But it just seems like a dick move on Brian Kelly’s part. For one thing, as the head coach of the college football team, you’re probably the richest person in town. Brian Kelly could’ve totally afforded to hire valets for his Christmas party instead of forcing his GAs to do hard labor.
Look, I get the whole idea of “paying your dues.” I was in a fraternity in college, I’ve been a pledge before, I know all about it. I’ve had an entry-level job before. I know how the world works.
But this is just ridiculous. This has nothing to do with football. GAs are already underpaid as it is, and Brian Kelly is demanding his GAs to park cars and shovel snow?
That’s just a dick move.
Other people in the comments are saying Matt LaFleur must not have been too upset about this ordeal because he later went to work for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame.
It’s called swallowing your pride and doing what’s best for your career.
Okay, but one story doesn’t prove Brian Kelly is a dick, does it?
No, but the Declan Sullivan story does.
It was more than a decade ago, but early in Brian Kelly’s tenure at Notre Dame, a 20-year-old student named Declan Sullivan died after a hydraulic lift he was on while filming a Notre Dame practice tipped over due to high winds.
Sullivan’s job was to film Notre Dame practices from up high, and the scissor lift had him up about 40 feet in the air. Winds were over 50mph at the time, and Sullivan even tweeted about how scary the situation was at the time:
It’s tragic. He knew his life was in danger.
You get the sense that he was either told to quit his bitching and get up there, or that he didn’t complain out of fear of losing his job with the football team, a job any 20-year-old kid dreams of having.
Brian Kelly pleaded ignorance to the whole thing:
Alas, the man in charge of that football program, Kelly, didn’t shed more light on anything — other than he and Swarbrick got their stories straight about the wind that apparently wasn’t. It was Swarbrick, you may recall, quoted describing the weather as “unremarkable.”
Kelly’s description similarly defied logic considering Indiana OSHA’s report cited wind gusts as high as 51 mph.
“It was a beautiful day,” Kelly told the IOSHA investigator. “We were conducting a normal practice structure when a big gust hit me.”
A normal practice? Was that why the female student videographer was grounded?
Asked if he was in charge of any responsibilities involving the photographers who videotaped Irish football practices, Kelly answered no. Asked if he decides where practices are held, Kelly merely acknowledged he “relies on information from my support staff.”
If Kelly took such a hands-off role on Saturdays, he never would make a decision and Notre Dame would lead the country in delay-of-game penalties.
Of course, pin the blame on other people. “Hey, don’t look at me, I’m just the head football coach! That wasn’t my decision at all!”
Funny how on a dime, a college football coach suddenly becomes powerless, an innocent bystander.
He was clearly lying about the weather conditions that day. Sullivan himself was tweeting about how bad things were well before he actually went up on the lift. But Brian Kelly tried to make it seem like it was a beautiful day and then, oh! out of the blue, just a huge gust of wind strong enough to knock over a scissor lift.
The reason Kelly was lying is probably because everyone knew it was windy as hell that day, and they still made Sullivan go up in the lift anyway.
Brian Kelly was in charge. He could’ve said, “Hey, should we have that kid up there in that lift with all this wind? Why don’t we bring him down?”
But he didn’t. “It was my support staff’s fault!”
What a bunch of nonsense.
Besides Swarbrick and Kelly seeming vaguer than one might hope, there was the Dec. 1, 2010, letter from university lawyer Claire Aigotti to an IOSHA investigator requesting video the Notre Dame film crew had taken that day.
Aigotti said the investigator could view the video in her office but she couldn’t ship it because it contained, “highly proprietary trade secret information.”
In the midst of trying to get to the bottom of what caused an avoidable fatality, Notre Dame’s still worried about football opponents getting an edge?
A total cover-up. They stonewalled the investigation.
The most honest, damning comments might have come from Sullivan himself. When he found out from assistant video coordinator Reuel Joaquin the team would be practicing outside, Sullivan wasn’t happy, according to the report.
“Aw, man,” Sullivan said. “This sucks.”
But according to Brian Kelly, it was a beautiful day.
Guys, I think Brian Kelly might be a piece of shit.