Pinkett suspended from Ireland game; Jeffers to join Criqui on radio broadcast

Former Notre Dame All-American Allen Pinkett has been suspended by the IMG radio network from the season opener against Navy for comments he made on Wednesday.

WNDU Sports Director Jeff Jeffers, who normally serves as the sideline reporter for the national radio broadcast, will join Don Criqui in the booth.

On a radio show in Chicago, Pinkett said Notre Dame needed more "bad citizens" in order to be successful. He said having "criminals" helps you win games.

"Allen Pinkett made unacceptable comments this week about student athletes," IMG said in a statement. "Notre Dame is 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."

IMG went on to say that further decisions on this matter will be made in the coming days.

On 670 The Score in Chicago Pinkett said there were some benefits to Notre Dame's recent string of suspensions involving Tommy Rees, Carlo Calabrese and Cierre Wood.

"You get your butt kicked if you got a team full of choir boys," Pinkett said Wednesday on 670 AM The Score in Chicago. "You've got to have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and the ultimate ruler. You don't hand out suspensions unless you know you've got somebody behind that guy that can make plays."

Pinkett said in order to have a successful team "you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team." He cited Ohio State as an example of a team that's always had a few "criminals" that added to the chemistry of the team.

“I don’t want any mass murderers or rapists,” Pinkett added. “I want guys that maybe get caught drinking that are underage, or guys that maybe got arrested because they got in a fight at a bar.”

Irish Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick quickly issued a statement upon hearing Pinkett's comments.

"Allen Pinkett’s suggestion that Notre Dame needs more 'bad guys' on its football team is nonsense," Swarbrick said. "Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation."

Pinkett apologized Wednesday night.

"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 the 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."

Game time Saturday is set for 9 a.m. South Bend time.

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