This one sorta concentrates on the UC issues right now, but they are everywhere... This is worth the time to read....
December 3, 2009
It shouldn't be this way
By Paul Daugherty

What a Twilight Zone week for UC football. Players, fans, hopes and dreams, all wobbling like a three-legged chair. All hostage to the stupid way college football does business. And we’re not even talking about the lack of a playoff.

This week: Undefeated, fifth-ranked, Sugar Bowl hopeful, led by coach of the year candidate Brian Kelly.

Next week: Once-defeated, lesser-ranked Meineke Car Care Bowl participant, led by an interim coach to be named?

This week: The Cincinnati Kellys, with new practice facilities on the way, an expanded and renovated Nippert Stadium in the plans, Big East kingpin, emerging national player featuring Everybody’s Favorite Next Coach.

Next week: Coaching search, Nip expansion on hold, rampant questions about big-time legitimacy?

What’s the cliché? Enjoy today. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Brian Kelly is in the middle of the Notre Dame tornado. He’s spinning like Dorothy’s bed. What’s it like trying to make sense of Pitt’s defense while also hearing people wish you the best in South Bend? Saturday’s game at Pitt is the biggest in UC football history. It’s cloaked in coaching-change rumors.

That’s a shame.

“It’s not comfortable for me,’’ Kelly said Tuesday. “It’s not comfortable for those involved. (But) it’s the reality of it. The only thing I can control is the message every day to our football players, how we can become champions. I can’t handle all these other things out there.’’

Well, he could, actually. Kelly could do what Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops and Jon Gruden have done and say publicly thanks, but no thanks. That’d make everyone comfortable. It’s his business how he handles it. Though it seems apparent that if an invitation arrives, BK’d be happy to leave for the Irish pub.

That’s secondary to this: Why does the NCAA condone a system in which its prized coaches are forced to make career decisions when they should be attending to the business of winning big games and doing the right thing by their players?

Why on earth does a system exist that permits, even encourages, a coach to bolt his team before they’ve finished a job they started in August?

To whom is that fair, exactly?

It’s all about recruiting. It’s about National Signing Day, which for some reason occurs in February. It’s Feb. 3 this year. What that means is, if you’re looking for a coach, the sooner you find him, the better.

All these blue-chip players not yet committed to play somewhere want to know who their daddy’s going to be. Metaphorically speaking, the high school quarterback who just threw for 2,500 yards wants to know if his coach is going to be named Brian (good!) or Jim (uh-oh!).

The blue-chipper has options. Good ones. Good Option #1 might say to him, “We have two scholarships left. One has your name on it. But we need to know now. Do you want to come play for Coach Wonderful here, who runs a system you know you’ll like? Or take a chance with Coach ToBeNamed there?”

Mark Dantonio left here as soon as he was able, to start recruiting players for Michigan State. Brian Kelly coached UC in the International Bowl. History repeating itself would be ugly here.

I asked my bud Pat Forde, “Why can’t they push back the signing date, even by a month?’’ Forde, who knows everything, said, “I dunno.’’

Give Kelly another month or more, to coach in peace. More importantly, give his players some peace of mind and UC fans no reason to fret during what should be the best time of their fan-ly lives. Because if Notre Dame wants a coach soon, and Kelly is the guy, Kelly will either pull a Dantonio or name an interim coach to get things rolling in South Bend, while Kelly stays here to prep for a bowl game, lame duck quacking.

Either option stinks.

The NCAA could change things. Of course, the NCAA could change a lot of things. But that’s another column.

“We had this conversation when I took the job here,’’ Kelly said to me.

We did. We shouldn’t be having it again, three years later. The problem is the same. So is the solution.