The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 13, 2009

Disloyalty and sports go hand in hand

MORGANTOWN — Brian Kelly is a traitor.

He is a turncoat.

He is a cad.

He is a selfish egomaniac who cares only about himself.

He is all that … but he isn’t wrong.

Yes, Kelly walked out on his University of Cincinnati team to coach the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, leaving them a rudderless ship trying to navigate through the tricky currents of college football, heading into a Sugar Bowl matchup with Florida without a captain.

Know what I have to say about it? Tough noogies.

Live with it. That’s the way it goes today in this ruthless world of big-time college athletics.

How do we know?

Because we asked Bob Huggins, the former Cincinnati basketball coach now at West Virginia. We weren’t even sure why we were asking him or what he might say, but it seemed like a good thing to go ahead and ask, considering the way he’d been shown the door at Cincinnati by then school-president Nancy Zimpher.

“You know,” he began, “I turned down $6.3 million to go to an NBA team (the Miami Heat). Then two other times I turned down chances to go to the NBA, I did it out of loyalty.”

So, you began thinking, Huggins believes Kelly is a traitor, a turncoat, a cad and a selfish egomaniac who cares only about himself.

Right?

No, wrong!

“At the end of the day, everyone preaches loyalty to a program, to a team, that you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Well, I have a different feeling about it now.”

Loyalty, huh?

To what?

To an administrator who’s going to send you traveling if you slip from 11-0 to 8-3 the next couple of years? To an alumni base that is with you when you win, against you when you lose, that judges you not as a person but only as a coach.

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Bob Herzel
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