Allen Pinkett suspended for two more games; keeps job


Allen Pinkett will keep his job as Notre Dame’s radio analyst, but only after a three-game suspension for comments that Notre Dame needs more “criminals” if it wants to be successful.

Pinkett was pulled off the Irish broadcast for the season opener against Navy and was put on the first plane from Dublin back to the US. He was replaced in the booth by Jeff Jeffers for the Navy game The former Notre Dame running back, told the “The McNeil and Spiegel Show” on Chicago’s 670 The Score that having “criminals” on a team makes for a better product, reports Yahoo! Sports: “I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you gotta have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett told the show. “I mean, that’s how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals. That just adds to the chemistry of the team. 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. You can’t have a football team full of choir boys. You get your butt kicked if you have a team full of choir boys. You gotta have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and ultimate ruler.”

Pinkett tried to clarify his comments by saying that by “criminals” he meant players who had minor brushes with the law or had been suspended. He also issued a statement apologizing Wednesday evening, but the damage was already done.

Pinkett will miss the Purdue and Michigan State games (without pay), as well, returning for Michigan on 9/15. The Notre Dame IMG Radio Network, which made the decision, has not yet announced who will be alongside play-by-play man Don Criqui for the next two days.

“Allen has done a great job for the Notre Dame IMG Radio network over the past four years, has a supportive fan base, and most importantly, has expressed deep heartfelt remorse for his choice of words, which were not in the spirit of college athletics,” the network said in a release. “After careful deliberation and thorough discussion, we believe the right decision is to allow a truly repentant Allen Pinkett an opportunity to return to the booth beginning with the fourth game of the college football season.”

Said Pinkett in the release: “I love this school as much as I love my kids and would never want to compromise the ethics and morals of my alma mater, Notre Dame. I would again like to offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to all those affected by my inappropriate comments, particularly the University, the school’s hard-working and courageous student athletes, all Fighting Irish fans and team supporters, our friends at The Ohio State University, and my colleagues at IMG Notre Dame Radio Network. This offering of forgiveness is an extremely humbling life lesson. I will work very hard to make the most of this second chance in representing the high standards and proud tradition of Notre Dame football.”