DUBLIN - Former Notre Dame running back and current team radio analyst Allen Pinkett has been removed from the radio broadcast for Saturday's season opener between Notre Dame and Navy.
IMG Sports Media, which produces Notre Dme football broadcasts, released the following statement on Thursday:
"Allen Pinkett, a commentator on the IMG Notre Dame Radio Network who made unacceptable comments this week about student athletes, will not be part of this weekend’s broadcast in Dublin. Notre Dame taking on Navy at the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin is an historic game showcasing the very best of American college sports. The event deserves to be free of distraction. Further decisions on this matter will be made in the coming days."
During an appearance on WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago on Wednesday, Pinkett said Notre Dame needs a few “bad citizens” in order to win.
"I've always felt like to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team," Pinkett. "That's how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals and 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 choirboys,” Pinkett continued. “You get your butt kicked if you've got a team full of choirboys so you've got to have a little bit of edge. But the coach has to be the dictator and the ultimate ruler. Here's my opinion: You don't hand out suspensions unless you know you've got somebody behind that guy that can make plays."
Pinkett’s words were part of a discussion over the recent two-game suspensions of Cierre Wood and Justin Utupo on top of the earlier one-game suspensions for Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese.
Given a chance to back off his comments, Pinkett kept going.
"I absolutely meant that," Pinkett said. "The 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 because that just adds to the chemistry of the football team. You have to have ... you look at the teams that have won in the past they have always had a couple of criminals."
The controversial comments drew a stern brief statement from Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.
“Allen Pinkett’s suggestion that Notre Dame needs more 'bad guys' on its football team is nonsense. Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation."
Pinkett apologized for the remarks on Wednesday evening.
"In reviewing my remarks from a radio interview Wednesday, it's clear that I chose my words poorly and that an apology is in order for these inappropriate comments," Pinkett said in a statement.
"My words do not reflect the strong pride and passion I have for the Notre Dame football program.
"I am deeply sorry and did not intend to take away the focus from the upcoming season opener. I especially would like to offer my sincere apology to the current members of Notre Dame’s football team, including Coach Kelly, the entire Notre Dame community, the IMG College Audio Network and the Ohio State football program. As a proud Notre Dame graduate, I wish nothing but the best for our football team and the University.
"I understand that there may be consequences to my actions and accept whatever discipline is imposed."