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Hill: Hypocrisy of rich college coaches borders on hilarious

Brian Kelly has really been showing off his sense of humor since he became the coach at Louisiana State.

First, it was the ridiculous Southern accent the Massachusetts native suddenly developed on the day he took the job in Baton Rouge. Then it was the viral dance moves in the TikTok videos with his players.

Now he is apparently trying his hand at deadpan irony.

Kelly suggested in an interview this week that one of the ways to deal with the explosion of NIL (name, image and likeness) money that has essentially created free agency in college football would be to institute a salary cap.

“If we had a salary cap, I’d be OK with it,” he said during an appearance on Dan LeBatard’s network. “I mean, if we all were operating under the same guidelines, at least we could know, ‘OK, this is what we’ve got.’ But that’s really the biggest issue.”

Bravo, Brian. Nailed it.

Why not just suggest we go back to the old way of being able to exchange money under the table so that the power programs could have an even bigger advantage?

It’s amazing to see how some of the top coaches in the sport have entered apoplectic territory over players finally getting a small slice of the giant pie.

Kelly went on to explain that high school recruits are seeking signing bonuses, returning players want retention bonuses, and players in the transfer portal want free agent bonuses.

“Unfortunately we’re doing without a salary cap, and that’s where it makes it just absolutely crazy,” he said. “Because you just don’t know what the numbers are from from year to year. So you know, college football is in a great place. We know there’s a lot of money. The problem is nobody knows what this is going to look like in a couple of years. And if anybody does, please let me know. But we just have to figure out how to cap this so we can move forward.”

Quick question, Brian. Would coaches’ salaries be subject to the cap?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

Look, this is not meant to pick on Kelly. He’s just an easy target. Plenty of old-school coaches are expressing similar thoughts, and there is an appetite to try to reform the system. Many traditional fans seem to feel the same way about all the player movement.

NIL wasn’t supposed to be about paying players directly. It was supposed to be about athletes having the right to capitalize on their marketability while they are still enrolled in school, based on performance. But once the gates were opened, it was always going to be this way. And to be honest, it should.

Before, programs could get theoretically get away with even more because dollar amounts had to be whispered. Players were getting paid to come to certain schools far before the new rules. It’s just more open now, so the athletes know their worth and expect to be compensated for it.

This really is how it should be. Perhaps there should be some restrictions on immediate transfer eligibility, especially on a second transfer. Maybe even tighter monitoring of contacting athletes who are already enrolled elsewhere and not in the portal.

Some rules will be fine. Direct caps on what kids can earn is not the answer.

College sports have always been about the money, and Kelly knows that. He’s just being silly. It tends to happen when a small bit of power is transferred from the hands of the elite.

Heroic effort

UFC Hall of Famer and former NCAA champion wrestler Mark Coleman was thrilled to be in attendance Saturday for UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena.

Heck, he’s just happy to be alive.

Coleman rescued his parents from their burning home in Ohio last month and was left unconscious and on a ventilator fighting for his life for several days. His dog, Hammer, who had alerted him of the blaze, didn’t make it out of the house.

“Life is good,” the 59-year-old said. “I’m blessed to be here. I’m healthy, and health is wealth. I have that, and I’m very fortunate. God was with me and got me through the scariest night of my life. We came through with my mom and dad still alive.

“I have three daughters, and Hammer was my son. He woke me, and Hammer was a hero.”

The MMA world rallied around Coleman as he battled for his life, though he was unaware of the support when he woke up.

“I just thought it would be a little family thing, but they quickly let me know how much love and support I had not just from my close fans but from all over the world,” he said as he fought off tears. “So many people showed me love. As a human, how could that not make me happy and how could that not make me feel good about myself. And I do.

“I’m not comfortable being called a hero. I just did what I think anyone would have did. It was a close call. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. But when I got to hug my daughters and rejoice, it gave a whole new meaning to ‘Tomorrow isn’t promised.’”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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