Burnt ends and burned bridges

Reported details of Brian Kelly’s departure from Notre Dame make it even funnier

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Brian Kelly, left, with LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward.
Brian Kelly, left, with LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward.
Image: Getty Images

All news is local, and The Columbian got a doozy of a local story out of now-LSU coach Brian Kelly’s sudden decision to bolt from Notre Dame this week.

As reported by Meg Wochnick, Kelly’s home recruiting visit to wide receiver Tobias Merriweather in Vancouver, Washington, was interrupted by a 15-minute phone call, during which he presumably locked down the LSU gig… then continued for another 90 minutes over “deviled eggs, barbecued shrimp, and brisket burnt ends.”


The latter, apparently, Kelly could not get enough of, as he “had three servings,” according to Merriweather’s father Dom.

You can’t really blame Kelly for that. Burnt ends are delicious. The coach’s behavior, on the other hand…


To sit there for an hour and a half, acting like you haven’t just taken another job, and continuing the Notre Dame recruiting pitch, that’s something else. Kelly might be a lot richer now, but being honest costs nothing, and it would have been simple to just say, “Look, this is going to be news as soon as I leave here, but I just got an offer I can’t refuse from LSU, and I’m taking it. Notre Dame is still going to be a great program, and I’m happy to answer any questions you have about it before I go.”

The family isn’t going to throw you out. You still get the scrumptious meal. And you don’t look like an even bigger sociopath than you already did when, days later, it comes out that you not only lied your way through that whole visit, but you ghosted the Merriweathers the instant you put your first foot toward Baton Rouge.

Wochnick’s story also has an amazing kicker quote. Go ahead and read the whole story.


Believe your Lion eyes, it’s Penn State-Pitt

Penn State has spent the better part of the 21st century ducking Pitt on the football field. Sure, the Nittany Lions have won three of the four meetings in the past 20 years, but what was once a heated rivalry for the soul of western Pennsylvania has been mostly dormant because Penn State just has to get Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Delaware, Nevada, San José State, and UMass on the schedule — all real opponents coming to Happy Valley in the next five years.


But the Nittany Lions cannot avoid Pitt volleyball, which is hosting NCAA Tournament action this weekend as the No. 3 team in the country. The Panthers swept Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday, while Penn State defeated Towson in four sets, bringing the old rivals together on the court at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday night, right in time for everyone to file out and hit the Oakland bars for the ACC football championship game, which Pitt is in while mighty Penn State’s gridders chart a course for… maybe the Pinstripe Bowl? Who cares, it’s Pitt’s time now.