Players Call Out Lincoln Riley, Brian Kelly Over Abrupt Departures From College Programs

Ernesto Cova

The College Football coaching carousel got off to a big start this year.

The season isn't even over, yet some of the playoff-hopeful teams have already lost their bosses.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish will have to try and clinch a playoff berth without lifelong coach Brian Kelly at the helm, who will replace Ed Orgeron at LSU.

The Oklahoma Sooners, on the other hand, will have to deal with the tough loss of Lincoln Riley, who'll embrace the tough task of bringing USC back to life.

Kelly Left The Players' Meeting After Just 11 Minutes

As it usually happens in this business, Kelly's departure was as quick as it was unexpected.

As a matter of fact, he left the players' meeting after just 11 minutes, drawing plenty of criticism around social media for the way he handled this situation:

"Brian Kelly’s goodbye to Notre Dame players on Tuesday morning was brief. As in, 11 minutes," the New York Post reported. "(...) Later in the day, LSU flew Kelly on a private jet to Baton Rouge, where he was greeted by fans, dignitaries and the Golden Band from Tigerland after agreeing to a 10-year contract worth $95 million plus incentives."

Kelly put the Fighting Irish on the map and will now look to take the LSU Tigers back to the top of the SEC.

Notre Dame Players Know It's All A Part Of The Business

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Notre Dame players Kyle Hamilton, Cam Hart, Conor Ratigan, and KJ Wallace addressed Kelly's departure on Inside The Garage podcast, talking about how that situation shouldn't affect the program's ability to recruit top-notch talent in the future:

“It’s part of the business," said Hart. "I’m getting all these texts and calls, like, ‘Yo, Are you okay? Come to my school, come to this school.’ One of my boys [said], ‘Come to Jackson State.’ Like, no bro, I’m fine, I didn’t come here for Coach Kelly. Like, respect for Coach Kelly, I have nothing but respect for the man, he’s helped me along the way, but I came here because of Notre Dame."

“A lot of people have been saying this is going to kill ND’s recruiting. If it does, then honestly I think that it’s for the better," said Hamilton. "No offense to Coach Kelly, but I know what the school can offer me, I know what the people can offer me, and I know what the football, obviously, can offer me. The football’s not going anywhere."

Players React To Lincoln Riley's Speech

Lincoln Riley's way of handling his departure wasn't much better.

According to one defensive lineman Isaiah Thomas, the coach told them that Oklahoma would become the mecca of football just one week before saying the same about USC:

_"This is going to be the Mecca of College Football," _Lincoln said, per Fan Nation. "I'm not big on false promises, hollow the promises. I'm not gonna stand up here and talk about all the different things that I think we can do. We see the potential there, we know we've got to go to work."

Who'll Be Oklahoma's Next Coach?

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While Notre Dame will have a tough time replacing a guy like Kelly, the Sooners' head coach job should draw plenty of attention from multiple candidates.

Right now, even Arizona Cardinals' HC King Cliffbury, who only has one year left in his contract, has been tied to the gig.

Check out the odds for the top candidates to land the job:

(via Sportsline)

Brent Venables +250 Lane Kiffin +500 Mark Stoops +500 Matt Campbell +600 Luke Fickell +700 Jay Norvell +800 Bob Stoops +900 Josh Heupel +1000 Shane Beamer +1100 Mario Cristobal +1500 Dave Aranda +1500 Kliff Kingsbury +2000