Brian Kelly says that he isn't restricted from attempting to hire current Notre Dame assistants onto his new staff at LSU, but the former Fighting Irish head coach – gone from the program officially now barely more than 24 hours – insists he isn't “going to do something that is morally or ethically not sound.”
Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday morning, Kelly was asked by the eponymous show's host if he was barred from trying to hire the coaches who, just 48 hours ago, were not only reporting to Kelly but recruiting with him, in-person, in California.
Multiple sources have told FootballScoop that Kelly would potentially welcome Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, defensive line coach Mike Elston, strength coach Matt Balis and perhaps special teams coordinator Brian Polian into similar roles at LSU. The Athletic's Pete Sampson also has reported news on Kelly's interest in Freeman and others.
“No, no,” Kelly said when asked if Notre Dame had barred him from taking current assistants. “Look, at the end of the day, you're not going to do something that is morally or ethically not sound. You're going to work with the university you just left. There are good coaches here that I want to talk to and certainly great coaches I worked with at Notre Dame.”
Kelly acknowledged to Patrick that he was out recruiting on behalf of Notre Dame as the LSU deal was being agreed to in principle. Kelly shared that he sent his former Notre Dame team a group text message about the Tuesday 7 a.m. team meeting as he boarded a plane back to South Bend, Indiana, from Orange County, California.
Asked by Patrick if he would recruit current Irish commitments to LSU, and reminded by Patrick that Lincoln Riley in the days since he jettisoned Oklahoma for USC, had done just that very thing, Kelly emphasized he would not operate in that method.
“Of course not, Dan,” Kelly said. “Of course not.
“Well, Lincoln can do what Lincoln wants to do. Brian Kelly is going to do what he does.”