Allen Pinkett will keep his job as Notre Dame’s radio analyst, but only after serving a three-game suspension for his comments that Notre Dame needs more “criminals” if it wants to be successful.
Pinkett, a two-time All-American at Notre Dame in his eighth year on the Notre Dame broadcast team, ignited a firestorm with his comments on a Chicago radio station last week. He traveled to Dublin with the team, but was replaced in the booth by Jeff Jeffers for the Navy game. Pinkett will miss the Purdue and Michigan State games (without pay), as well, returning for Michigan on Sept. 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 games.“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.”On the McNeil and Speigel Show on 670-AM last week, in the wake of the suspensions of Cierre Wood and Justin Utupo (Notre Dame’s third and fourth suspensions of the offseason), Pinkett said: “I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team.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’ve got to have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and ultimate ruler.”I absolutely meant that,” Pinkett added. “Chemistry is so important on a football team. You have to have a couple of bad guys that sort of teeter on that edge to add to the flavor of the guys that are going to always do right.You look at the teams that have one in the past. They always have a couple of criminals.”
Pinkett sounded a very different tune in the IMG release today.“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,” he said. “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.”