It wasn't 11 minutes. It wasn't less than two minutes. Brian Kelly's face-to-face farewell to his 2021 University of Notre Dame football team — winners of 11 of 12 games played so far — lasted all of 3:38, finally settling debate based on conflicting reports Tuesday.
SI also posted the full text of Kelly's goodbye address, delivered Monday at 7 a.m., mere hours after he told the team via text message that he was leaving South Bend for Louisiana State University:
“Morning guys. Thanks for getting up here in short order, short notice. As you know I sent out a text last night trying to give you as much notice as possible given the circumstances that we all know that happened relative to social media and information getting out."I know we’ve been through this together. I’ve recruited virtually everybody in this room. And I want to be able to tell you face-to-face why we’re at where we’re at. That is, very simply, that the past 12 years have been the most incredible 12 years of my life, for me and my family, being here at Notre Dame. Magical what we’ve been able to build with the most incredible student athletes. The ones that I’m looking at right now. And so, many times, people are looking for a reason to blame or there was a reason for something. There was nothing here but first-class in everything that Notre Dame has done for me and my family. I saw my time here as a blessing working with incredible men on a day-to-day basis.
"But there comes a time where you look in your life for another opportunity, and I felt it was the time in my life for another challenge. And I saw that opportunity in a very short window and felt that it was best for me and my family to pursue a new challenge. And so there’s no one to blame, there’s nobody that’s at fault, nobody did anything wrong. "You guys have been the backbone of this program with what you’ve accomplished and you’ll continue to do that. I think you’re one of the four best teams in the country. [Notre Dame athletic director] Jack [Swarbrick] is going to get somebody that will continue to lead this program in incredible fashion. I don’t know what it holds for us moving forward, but I hope to heck it means you’re playing for the national championship because you absolutely deserve it. So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone one of you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you directly because you don’t get that chance very often, and to thank you for allowing me to pursue what I love to do, and that’s develop 18–21 year olds. And you will continue to achieve at the highest level and have great success, no matter what moves forward for you."Thank you, I love each and every one of you, and for me more than anything else, it’s a sad day but one where I know that each one of you are going to do great things and you’ve got more to accomplish. I wish everybody here the very best and thank you for the opportunity that you’ve given me and my family. Thank you guys, appreciate it."
Mere hours removed from that address, Kelly spoke to his new players in Baton Rouge.
"I'm here because I wanted to coach the very best players in the country, that are afforded the best resources, and play in the best conference in the country," Kelly said in video tweeted by LSU football and shared by SI. "That's an incredible challenge to a football coach, and I get that here."
Kelly reportedly will be paid $95 million per a 10-year contract.