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Kelly says job rumors not a distraction

Brian Kelly says he's interested in leaving Cincinnati to coach elsewhere -- as long as there's a Skyline Chili in whatever town he goes to work.

Informed that there were franchise locations near South Florida and in Louisville, Kelly had this to say during his Tuesday news conference.

"If [South Florida] opens up, I'm involved," he said. "The Louisville job, I'm in there, too."

It was typical of Kelly to use humor when asked about rumors of other job openings. He is one of the hottest coaching commodities out there, and his name has been linked strongly with the potential opening at Notre Dame.

But Kelly said he doesn't think it causes a distraction for his team, which has been hearing those kinds of rumors ever since his first season with the Bearacats. That's because he says he's always "upfront and honest" when discussing his situation with the players.

"This is the silly season," he said. "Every year, we're having this conversation. [Receiver] Mardy [Gilyard] has heard it the last three years, and he knows the one thing is, I'm going to tell him the truth.

"It's going to continue to happen here while I'm at the University of Cincinnati because nobody thinks Cincinnati is a destination job. If I have anything to tell [the players], they'll hear it from me first. There's nothing to talk about, so we move on to the next practice, the next opportunity."

Kelly didn't deny that he would entertain overtures this offseason.

"It's a process after the season," he said. "It's always about looking at the best opportunities for you and your family. Cincinnati is a great place to be."

When asked if the constant job rumors hurt recruiting, Kelly said it's better to be talked about as a hot coaching name than someone who's on the hot seat like Charlie Weis or Mark Mangino.

"I don't want to be one of them," he said. "That really hurts your recruiting."