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ND's Kelly on expansion: 'Nothing better than being an independent'

Notre Dame has been in and out of the expansion rumor mill ever since the Big Ten announced back in December that they may be looking to enlarge their conference.

Publicly, athletic director Jack Swarbrick has, for the most part, maintained the stance that the Irish preference above all else is to remain a football independent, provided the school’s hands are not forced by seismic shifts in the landscapes of the major BcS conferences — i.e. the Big Ten doesn’t treat the Big East like .

Wednesday evening in South Bend, new Irish head coach Brian Kelly took Swarbrick’s message and ratcheted up the rhetoric a notch or eight.  Kelly, speaking in front of approximately 300 pro-ND people, Kelly left no doubt which side of the expansion aisle he resides on.

“From my standpoint, being the head football coach at Notre Dame, there’s nothing better than being an independent football school,” Kelly said in remarks that the South Bend Tribune said elicited a roar from the crowd.

“I know you’re hearing all these rumors about the Big Ten and all these other things, but let me tell you one thing, the history … the tradition of Notre Dame football is steeped in that independence.”

Of course, Kelly, Swarbrick et al can be as forceful and publicly vociferous as they want in very loudly and proudly championing the Irish maintaining their football independence, but it will have little impact on what the rumor mill will spit out over the next few weeks/months.

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16 Responses to “ND's Kelly on expansion: 'Nothing better than being an independent'”
  1. darlingknight27 says: May 13, 2010 10:11 AM

    I wonder if the big east do force them out per their ultumatum, and thebig ten expands without them, will they change their tune?
    Perhaps being relevant is better than being an independant.

  2. Duan says: May 13, 2010 12:51 PM

    if Notre Dame joins the Big Ten, it will move college football one step closer to a playoff system.
    With nebraska and missouri, they can form two divisions and have a BIG 10 conference championship game.
    Notre Dame isn’t the power player it used to be. Tough Academics and cold weather is not as appealing as Texas, Univ. of Florida, Florida State and Southern Cal with the warm weather and beautiful women!
    Wise up and join a conference before NBC wakes up and pulls their money out!

  3. dotbo says: May 13, 2010 2:51 PM

    “If Notre Dame joins the Big Ten, it will move college football one step closer to a playoff system.”
    A playoff is not guaranteed at all. If there are 4 16-team conferences, I’d sooner watch out for Congress to intervene on the part of those left out (WAC, MWC, C-USA, and orphaned Big East and Big-12 teams) than force a playoff. Besides, a four-team playoff is not really a playoff. It’s a plus-one format. (But with conf championship games, it’s a de facto 8-team playoff.)

  4. American Warrior says: May 13, 2010 2:53 PM

    First, if South Bend is so miserable, how is it that they have a wealth of 4 star recruits every year? Secondly, what happens when Kelly turns this program around (and I believe he will) and while still relevant now, turns them into a “team to beat” once again? Finally, ND really doesn’t need NBC. Ever notice how when then Irish play away from home they go nation-wide on ABC or ESPN? That’s pretty relevant. Especially whenever they play somewhere it’s a sell out, SRO, man. Pretty relevant.
    ND fans are not fair weather fans. We root for them regardless of the record because of what they stand for (real student athletes – very few Criminal Justice majors!) Plus, they generally play pretty exciting football games. Lot of fun to watch. Also, if they EVER get to a bowl they share no revenue. They made it there on their own, and keep the money themselves. Why on earth would they join a conference.

  5. Bious says: May 13, 2010 3:53 PM

    Well, you will soon be forced to go to a conference so enjoy it while you can
    The money will NOT be higher soon as an independent then a full conference
    ND will cave once the money is right

  6. funi says: May 13, 2010 5:07 PM

    Screw N.D.! Those fake catholics had their chance and blew it and now another time to joinand they still want to be independant? If they want to be independant, the Big East needs to kick them out of so they cn be independant of all sports! Let them play Army, Citadel, S.E.Missouri State every week!

  7. BENITO says: May 13, 2010 5:34 PM

    funi; you are mildly retarded. the original reason for not joining is because of anti-catholic sentiment by the founding members of the slow 10. The big east isnt going to do anything about the status quo so keep dreaming about your hating!

  8. 60eagles says: May 13, 2010 11:54 PM

    Hell, they gave a degree to an abortion loving POTUS. The are as Catholic as BYU is Lutheran. I could care less if they remain independent and play UConn, Tulsa, BC, Western Michigan, Army, Navy, Air Force every year. The school is no longer relevant as a football power. They live in the past. Besides that, they suck.

  9. shaunypoo says: May 14, 2010 7:22 AM

    Be careful with what Kelly says, he is not known for his honesty.

  10. American Warrior says: May 14, 2010 9:39 AM

    BENITO, I don’t think there’s anything mild about funi’s retardation. Seems rather severe. Anyway, all of the vitrol here just proves my point. ND is very polarizing so people tend to follow them for one reason or another. I bet the greater per centage of the TV audience is made up of people who are rooting against ND rather than for them. Thanks for proving my point, folks! Go Irish!

  11. dotbo says: May 14, 2010 10:27 AM

    “From my standpoint, being the head football coach at Notre Dame, there’s nothing better than being an independent football school,” Kelly said…
    Freakbass agreed, adding, “WE! ARE! N! D!” To which the crowd responded, “WE ARE NOTRE DAME!”. It sent chills down my spine!
    Youtube the craptasticness of it all.

  12. Bo Darville says: May 14, 2010 1:18 PM

    Won’t it be funny when a 6-6 Minnesota upsets a 12-0 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game?

  13. SamOsborne says: May 20, 2010 6:59 AM

    I am Irish Catholic, regularly attend Mass, and long ago stopped giving a damn about Notre Dame. I am a Hawkeye, Big 10 fan, and don’t much care for Ohio State or Notre Dame—may all of their games against each other end in a tie.

  14. BENITO says: Jun 5, 2010 10:14 AM

    samosborne = sellout

  15. Arizona Buckeye says: Jun 7, 2010 6:31 PM

    Yes – let us wreck the Big Ten for the likes of one of the most overrated, over-hyped, underachieving team in the last 30 years. We already have Indiana and Northwestern and certainly don’t need another doormat bu adding Notre Whogivesashit irrelevant – regardless of what Lou Holtz slobbers out every Saturday. How can Brian Kelly possibly make a difference when Jabba the Weis, coaching genius couldn’t. Sadly, the only thing Brain Kelly hiring has done will to flood Sportscenter with yet another 8 weeks of preseason hype to put Notre Whogivesashit in the National Championship game – that is until they take the field and stink it up like usual. Although I do have to say, it has been GREAT the last three times being around Notre Whogivesashit after Ohio State bitch slapped them around all game. I think Brady Quinn is still seeing A.J.Hawk coming after him in his nightmares every night…

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