Kelly: Fundraising distracted me during 2016 season

Photo of Kelly: Fundraising distracted me during 2016 season
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(Warning: Story contains coarse language)

Brian Kelly believes he devoted too much time last year to fundraising, which contributed to a disastrous 4-8 record for Notre Dame on the gridiron.

"It fucked up last year's team," the eighth-year coach told Bleacher Report's Matt Hayes.

Kelly spent a significant portion of last offseason attempting to secure money for a new football facility. His efforts wound up carrying into the season, and he thinks it unintentionally caused him to neglect his duties as a football coach.

"I was the absent professor," Kelly said. "I wasn't paying attention to the details that we needed. There were internal issues that - if a guy is on it, and he's doing his job as the head coach, he would've seen those things early."

Notre Dame's 2016 season got off on the wrong foot before it even started, as several players were arrested weeks before the season, putting the program under a cloud. Kelly quickly dismissed starting safety Max Redfield, and while many lauded him for the swift action, his defense clearly suffered.

"My flawed philosophy was, 'We're going to score points early while we're figuring it out on the other side with a young defense,'" Kelly said. "Well, that didn't happen. We gave up way too many points early, we lost three games, and now we're in trouble."

The ugly campaign netted Kelly his first losing season at Notre Dame. He'll attempt to start righting the ship Sept. 2, when the Fighting Irish open their 2017 schedule versus Temple.

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