Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly took some heat this week from Peter Finney, writing in New Orleans' archdiocesan paper the Clarion Herald, where he serves as Executive Editor. During a couple of frustrating losses this season, you didn't need to be a lip-reader to figure out what Kelly was, well, simply screaming at players whose various mishaps provoked a more-or-less unrestrained response from their head coach.
Finney called the unfortunate Kelly, who, let's face it, holds one of the more high pressure spots it collegiate athletics, "poster child for Catholic coaches gone wild" and yellow flagged Notre Dame on the apparent hypocrisy of hiring Kelly, who already had a reputation for working blue (and in vein-popping purple) from the sidelines, while offering lip-service and college credit to notions of compassionate Christian coaching.
"OK, so what’s the big deal?," Finney asks. "Aren’t these 18- to 22-year-old athletes big enough and tough enough to accept abusive language from a coach—foul-mouthed tirades they’ve probably heard since high school—and simply move on?"
"That’s not the fundamental question and totally misses the point, says Edmund Rice Christian Brother John Casey, a former secondary schools executive with the National Catholic Educational Association who now lives in New Orleans after having spent many years as principal of Rice High School in Central Harlem.
“'We are an incarnational faith,' Brother John said. 'How we act counts.'”
You can read the rest of Finney's tips for G-rated coaching here.