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    Default Bearcat players among last to know

    December 10, 2009
    Cincinnati Bearcat players among last to know Brian Kelly's decision
    By Ryan Ernst
    rernst@enquirer.com

    CINCINNATI - While the story broke of Cincinnati football coach Brian Kelly’s departure, his players recited the company line, which Kelly himself had provided.

    “He told us from the get-go that we’d be the first people to know whatever he decides,” senior quarterback Tony Pike said Thursday evening before the team banquet. “We’re going to keep him at his word. We’ve trusted him this far and we’re going to believe what he says.”

    As it turns out, Kelly’s players were among the last to know. And by the end of the evening, plenty of them were voicing their displeasure.

    "We don't really care what he has to say anymore," tight end Ben Guidugli said after a post-banquet team meeting. "He can go talk to his Notre Dame team. We're ready to move forward with whoever wants to move forward with us. He's not on the boat anymore, so we've got to continue on."

    Several players, including loquacious standout receiver Mardy Gilyard, left the team meeting early. Gilyard was in the room for less than a minute.

    "I didn't want to hear it," he said. "I'm fairly disgusted with the situation -- him letting it last this long. ... Everybody and their mamma knew what was going on. I feel like he did our team an injustice. Hopefully he'll pack his things up and get to South Bend in a hurry."

    School officials allowed select players to speak one-at-a-time to the media before the event, held Downtown at the Westin Hotel. As the cocktail hour wore on, news of Kelly’s deal with Notre Dame – being reported by several media outlets – began to permeate.

    Still, many of the players still held out hope the rumors were false.

    “We’re anxious and eager,” senior quarterback Tony Pike said. “We listen to the radio and the news just as much as everyone else. It’s probably a little harder on us, because we’re getting the calls from our friends and family, wanting to know what’s really happening. It’s hard, because we don’t know either.”

    Kelly, who posted a 24-5 record in three seasons at UC, led the Bearcats to back-to-back BCS bowls including a New Year’s Day meeting with Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

    While Gilyard spoke to the media about the upcoming game, defensive lineman Alex Daniels also walked out on the meeting.

    "We want to make sure (people) still come out and support us," Daniels said. "Because we were the ones out there playing every play, every snap. He was just the one calling the plays."

    Kelly did not meet with the team before Thursday’s banquet. Most hadn’t seen or heard from him since he met with Notre Dame officials earlier in the week. Still, the players selected by the school sports information department to speak with the media – Pike, junior running back John Goebel and senior defensive back Brad Jones – said they had no ill feelings about the situation.

    By the time Jones approached the horde of reporters – around 5:45 p.m. – he had heard the news.

    “The story broke on ESPN, that he’s going to take the job at Notre Dame,” Jones said. “But you can’t blame him. It’s a great program with a lot of prestige. And they’re going to pay him a substantial amount of money.”

    “… He’s got to make decisions for himself. I’m content and I’m worried about beating Florida. He can do his thing at Notre Dame and we’re going to take care of business here.”

    Seconds later Kelly emerged from the escalator into the hotel’s Gibson Foyer, flanked by two police officers, and walked quickly past Jones. He issued no comment about the Notre Dame job, saying only, “We’re here to celebrate our seniors.”
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    Default Re: Bearcat players among last to know

    The UC players were in denial, if they didn't see this coming days ago. Kelly was ND's best option. No way were Stoops, Meyer or Harbaugh going there. Open your eyes guys.
    Last edited by (419)BlackNGold; Dec-11-2009 at 09:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Bearcat players among last to know

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    The UC players were in denial, if they didn't see this coming days ago. Kelly was ND's best option. No way were Stoops, Meyer or Harbaugh going there. Open your eyes guys.
    Personally, I don't blame the kids.... You gotta believe what your fearless leader tells you after what you've gone thru together.... Yea, ND was Kelly's "unicorn"... Hell, everyone knew it... But at some point you need to trust his words if he's your coach..... IMO.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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