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Allen Pinkett apologizes for ‘bad citizens… criminals’ comments

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You just knew a mea culpa was in the offing.

If you recall, former Notre Dame running back and current Irish radio analyst Allen Pinkett created quite the stir Wednesday by outlining his plan for the Domers’ return to prominence in football, which included adding “a few bad citizens” to the team as well as suggesting that a couple of criminals wouldn’t hurt either.

Suffice to say, the radio interview and Pinkett’s comments went over like flatulence at Mass.  Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick issued a statement describing Pinkett’s suggestions as “nonsense,” adding that “Allen does not speak for the university.”

Former Irish quarterback Joe Theismann blasted Pinkett, saying “he is so out of touch with life, it’s ridiculous.”

In the face of a wave of criticism, Pinkett took a significant step or eight back from the statements made during the interview in a statement released last 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.  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.”

Pinkett has been an analyst on Irish football radio broadcasts for more than a decade.  His employer, Notre Dame IMG Network, released a statement that read, in part, “[w]e completely disagree with those comments. …we will be determining disciplinary action to be taken.”

UPDATED 2:36 p.m. ET: In a statement, IMG Notre Dame Radio Network announced that Pinkett would not serve as an analyst on this weekend’s Irish-Navy game.  The statement went on to say that “[f]urther decisions on this matter will be made in the coming days.”

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18 Responses to “Allen Pinkett apologizes for ‘bad citizens… criminals’ comments”
  1. 1trojanlove says: Aug 30, 2012 10:04 AM

    He apologized, so I am ok with that. He should make a small donation to OSU if he feels bad!

  2. ramrene says: Aug 30, 2012 10:27 AM

    Whiney, crybaby media is trying to turn this into something more than it is. Pikett was basically saying, “we need tougher players with more of a bad @ss attitude”. That’s it, that’s all. The word “criminals” fits what he was trying to communicate but because of everybody being so fragile he used a word he shouldn’t because it offeneded… boo hoo.

    Dude’s right. Notre Dame football sucks, and has sucked for about 25 years. The Fighting Irish is a joke and can’t be taken seriously when considering big time college football. Their history is well documented but so is their recent history of sucking.

    Notre Dame is no more than a third tier program these days.

    Sorry, but them’s the facts!

  3. friarjack61 says: Aug 30, 2012 10:37 AM

    An apology is fine; but, as a person ‘connected’ to the University, comments like his, cannot be tolerated.

    I have been a fan for over 60 years, and since Lou left, the program, both coaching and recruiting has been dismal. Like the Chicago Cubs, ND football, stinks.

  4. ningenito78 says: Aug 30, 2012 11:47 AM

    Get off your high horse ND. The guy made one inappropriate (barely) comment.

  5. cubano76 says: Aug 30, 2012 12:07 PM

    But he’s 100% right.

  6. Jay Clocker says: Aug 30, 2012 2:08 PM

    There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to lose his job over this.
    I agree with him that you need some “rough” guys on your team but, if you are a person representing N.D. as a radio analyst, you need to be smarter than to use the word “criminals”.

  7. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Aug 30, 2012 3:24 PM

    I knew “Pinkey” when he was a child. He was a nice boy and I assume he grew up to become a good person. One slip of the tongue shouldn’t be enough to lose his job. How come ND doesn’t make a fuss over ND vs Miami games being called Catholics vs Criminals? (FYI – I’m an Irish Catholic so I’m not bashing ND).

  8. sabatimus says: Aug 30, 2012 3:40 PM

    Now if we can just get Brian Kelly fired for enabling that student death to happen when he KNEW the conditions were bad for filming….along with being a spectacular dick.

  9. rcali says: Aug 30, 2012 4:14 PM

    Thankfully Pinkett said this and not Brian Kelly, Theismann, or Montana….that’s all I’m saying.

  10. florida727 says: Aug 30, 2012 4:56 PM

    I’m not an ND fan, so maybe that’s why I don’t get it, but why is this a big deal? Did the university only hire him under the condition that he only say the “right” kind of things about Notre Dame? Because if they did, then he’s not an “analyst”, he’s a glorified mouthpiece. Basically, the guy’s being punished for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech.

    Not an ND hater, but this makes me lose respect for them.

    Like I said, maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see what he did as being a fireable (or even a suspension justified) offense. Isn’t he entitled to his opinion? Let the listening audience call in to the radio show and disagree with him if they want. Someone told me a long time ago as it relates to business, if you and I always agree, one of us isn’t necessary. Let Pinkett speak his mind. Then let others call in and disagree with him. I think they call that “entertainment”.

  11. canetic says: Aug 30, 2012 5:34 PM

    This is crazy. He didn’t say anything terrible. He can’t express an opinion without getting “disciplined”?

  12. queenlivekillers says: Aug 30, 2012 5:38 PM

    His “apology” reminds me of the SNL skit where William Shatner yells at the Trekkies. Only after a lawyer points to his contract does Shatner backpedal. Same here. Pinkett had a chance to clarify during the interview and instead he doubled down.

    ND and IMG should have taken this opportunity to ditch Pinkett outright. The ND radio broadcasts have been watered down ever since Pinkett The Company Man was brought in and previous play by play announcer Tony Roberts was let go. Where before Roberts was not afraid to call the Irish when they played poorly, now you have Pinkett justifying a three yard out pattern on third and forever.

    By the way, what does this do to the Miami game? No more “Catholics vs. Convicts” moral high ground for ND?

  13. spreadthecheese says: Aug 30, 2012 5:49 PM

    Pinkett has always been a pretty upstanding person, so these comments raise an eyebrow. I truly believe what Pinkett meant to say was that ND needs more players with an edge — guys who have a nasty disposition by nature. Unfortunately, it looks like he felt the best way to describe that was by using the word “criminals”.

  14. jimsjam33 says: Aug 30, 2012 7:41 PM

    I’m a USC fan . That being said Allen Pinkett meant nothing by his comments except that he wants the Domers to get mean and play some rough and tumble football . We all know what he meant .
    For those that were ” insulted ” go find another game like ‘ Pick up Sticks . ” Shame on the Irish faithful who want a piece of Pinkett . We all know the Irish have high academic standards and have produced outstanding young men and women in every occupational endeavor . Pinkett should not be punished . His apology should suffice !

  15. irisheyesnate says: Aug 30, 2012 8:46 PM

    All he meant was get gritty but, we are not taking what he says to heart. That would be like saying USC is a strait n narrow school…

  16. latrobe21 says: Aug 30, 2012 10:29 PM

    If Pinkett was white he’d have been fired an hour after making the comments.

  17. iotalo says: Aug 30, 2012 11:07 PM

    If he were White? What does color have to do with it unless you are insinuating that criminals are Black.

  18. 1historian says: Aug 31, 2012 11:00 AM

    Judging from the picture of him Pinkett is fat AND stupid.

    That being said – Notre Dame does seem a bit wimpy. I remember Chris Zorich back in the 80s – it was said that his teammates played as hard as they did because they were afraid of him if they didn’t. They need somebody like that in there. Good Lord knows we already have enough gentlemen (aka ‘Notre Dame men’) – let’s get some attitude in there. This “conform, conform, tow the corporate line” crap does NOT win football games, and that is what they are supposed to do.

    The team is going to be wearing special uniforms for the Miami game and they are hideous – abso-damn-lutely HIDEOUS. Naturally Kelly said all the players love them – and gawd help anyone on that team who has the cojones to disagree.

    One more thing – Joe Montana just made a fool of himself. He is a legend there and now he has made himself look like nothing more than a bitter old man. He should just shut up.

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