According to former Notre Dame running back Allen Pinkett, bad behavior is not necessarily a negative for a college football squad. In fact, it is a positive thing according to the former college standout.
In a segment on the “The McNeil and Spiegel Show on” Chicago’s 670 The Score” Pinket said “"I've always felt like, to have a successful team, you gotta have a few bad citizens on the team.” He went on about his alma mater adding “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. 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 was careful to define his definition of “criminal.”
"I don't want any mass murderers or rapists," Pinkett said. "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, or guys that are willing to cuss in public and don't mind the repercussions of it. That's the type of criminal I'm talking about."
Notre Dame has given more than enough fodder for Pinkett’s controversial claims. More than three key players will not be playing in the season opener against Dublin due to suspensions. Prospective QB Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlos Calabrese are being held out for offseason skirmishes with police. You can add starting tailback Cierre Wood to that list along with defensive end Justin Utopo for undisclosed reasons.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been doing everything in his power to squelch this building negative reputation of his players by enacting a strict zero tolerance policy. "We want more accountable citizens.” He added "we want people representing our program in the right way.When we suspend somebody, I look at it in terms of how are we going to get this young man to live up to the standards that I have for our program."
Ironically Pinkett has found himself in some hot water and at odds with the university over his “convict” comments made over the air. Notre Dame has pulled the former running back off the air and he will not be present in Dublin to broadcast the Notre Dame and Navy game.