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Kelly feels the ugly side of change

While it’s not exactly a surprise, Brian Kelly’s decision to leave the Cincinnati Bearcats hasn’t gone over too well with the locals.

On Friday, I went on the radio with Bill Cunningham, the most listened to radio personality in the tri-state area. (So says his website.) He didn’t exactly have nice things to say about Brian Kelly, and the conversation with Willie was pretty entertaining.

Kelly’s former players haven’t been all that happy with their coach either, with Mardy Gilyard leading the way in critizing the way Kelly handled the situation.

“No, he wasn’t talking to anybody. It was a little Hollywood deal. He came in; it was like a scene from a movie when he got in here. Everybody knew what was going on. He never had any security like that before. I mean he already won Coach of the Year before, so all that security wasn’t necessary. I think he was worried about what was going to go on with the city and the fans if anything. People just want honesty; we just want him to be straight up with us. If you’re going to leave, then leave. I feel like he had this in his head that he was going to leave for awhile now. Everybody knows the situation now. It’s human nature that you’re going to take more money, it is what it is, a business decision.”

I’ve got no problem with Gilyard’s comments. Even his more inflammatory comments earlier in the week were said out of emotion, and it’s far better than the usual political correctness we get used to hearing from college kids who have become so media savvy that we forget they are 18 to 22 year-old kids.

Yet Kelly’s handling by the locals hasn’t let up. According to Kelly’s very own Twitter page, he didn’t return home to a warm welcome.

Spent most of the morning on the phone with recruits. House got egged last night and the sign on the lawn wasn’t a FOR SALE sign.

After the dust settles, I hope Bearcats fans can appreciate what Kelly did for the program. While many are crying foul for Kelly leaving before the bowl game, it’s the ugly reality of hiring coaches in college football. The argument would probably hold a bit more water if Cincinnati didn’t do the exact same thing to Central Michigan when they hired Kelly away from them.