Notre Dame benched former running back and Fighting Irish radio analyst Allen Pinkett a day after making some provocative comments suggesting that the school needed a few “criminals” to return to prominence.
Andrew Giangola, a spokesperson for the IMG Notre Dame Radio Network, said Thursday that Pinkett has been pulled off the broadcast of Saturday’s season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland following his comments to Chicago’s WSCR-AM.
A final further decision on Pinkett’s tenure with the network is forthcoming.
Pinkett, who led the Irish in rushing from 1983-85, began the controversy by saying that Notre Dame would be better served by enlisting the services of a few criminals.
”I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you have to have a few bad citizens on the team,” he said.
Pinkett said that’s how Ohio State used to get an edge.
”They would have two or three guys that were criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team. So I think Notre Dame is growing because maybe they have some guys that are doing something worthy of a suspension, which creates edge on the football team.”
Coach Brian Kelly recently suspended top tailback Cierre Wood and backup defensive end Justin Utupo for two games each for violating team rules. Earlier, quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese were suspended for Saturday’s opener against Navy for their roles in a skirmish with police following a party in May.
”You can’t have a football team full of choir boys, you know?” Pinkett said. “You get your butt kicked if you have a team full of choir boys.”
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick called the comments “nonsense” in a statement released before the team’s Thursday departure to Ireland.
”Allen Pinkett’s suggestion that Notre Dame needs more `bad guys’ on its football team is nonsense,” he said. ”Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation.”