Notre Dame football knows all about Brian Kelly's familiar NIL excuses

Notre Dame football fans are well aware of the excuses that Brian Kelly has made over the course of his career for what is behind his shortcomings.
LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans
LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There was a time when Notre Dame football fans were upset that Brian Kelly left the Fighting Irish in the lurch. As we get further and further away from those days, it's easier and easier to feel as though the program as a whole is in better hands under Marcus Freeman. That's true even despite what some see as a disappointing season in 2023.

For many Notre Dame football fans, Brian Kelly's latest comments about how he's trying to regroup at LSU despite some NIL limitations sounded very familiar. And quite a few of those fans were not exactly wistful about those comments.

Kelly sat down for a talk with a Baton Rouge area television station and in a clip posted to social media, the conversation turned to his lack of success in recruiting transfer defensive linemen this offseason.

"Well, I think I made it pretty clear in a number of the press conferences that I had that we were in the market in recruiting in the transfer portal looking for defensive linemen," Kelly began. "It hasn't fared very well, quite frankly, because we're selling something a little bit differently."

Ah yes. Here we go.

"We want to engage, build relationships.," Kelly continued. "We want to develop, retain, and have success," he added.

So far so good. That is of course, what every college coach to ever wear the big whistle would say. But here's where things took a turn. This is where he annoyed Notre Dame football backers.

"We're not in the market of buying players," Kelly chided. "And unfortunately, right now, that's what some guys are looking for. They want to be bought...we're not going to go out and buy players. That's not what this is about. This was never about that. We will develop you. We will get you ready for the next step, as we did with Jayden Daniels, as we did with Malik Nabors ,as we did with Brian Thomas."

It's worth pointing out that Jayden Daniels was a transfer from Arizona State that almost certainly got paid some NIL money to come to LSU. But I digress.

Notre Dame football fans have heard this song and dance before

Much has been made of the fact that the last few years of the Brian Kelly era were arguably better than the first few of the Marcus Freeman era. However, part of the reason for that is Freeman is having to drag Notre Dame football's recruiting apparatus into the 21st century.

It was stuck in a bygone era in large part thanks to Brian Kelly. That's why his talk about why he couldn't go out and get top-notch defensive linemen for an LSU defense that was by all measures, horrific, sounded so familiar.

Bayou Bengals fans should take note. This is your warning. In an ever changing SEC, be wary of Brian Kelly. You don't want the next guy to have to work to correct his mistakes the way Marcus Freeman is having to do for the Notre Dame football program.

LSU might not be able to find someone as capable as Marcus.