Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Football: Allen Pinkett Is Way off Base with His Criminals Comment

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 03:  Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish awaits the start of play against the University of South Florida Bulls at Notre Dame Stadium on September 3, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. South Florida defeated Notre Dame 23-20.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 29, 2012

In what was a great find by the guys at Lost Letterman, we were able to see the CBS Chicago report in which former Notre Dame running back, Allen Pinkett, made his grand and absolutely wrong declaration about how the Fighting Irish could return to glory:

“I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you gotta have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “I 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 gotta have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and ultimate ruler.”

Lost Letterman also has more of his quote:

Asked to clarify, Pinkett provided this gem: “I don’t want any mass murderers or rapists. 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.”

In one word, the best way to describe this assessment of the situation is simple: stupid. Players win ball games. Coaches win ball games. Recruiting wins ball games. Player development wins ball games.

You know who doesn't help you win games?

People who aren't with the team or with the program.

Suspended guys don't help you win football games because they're not in the game. Guys playing on other rosters after transferring out of your school for behavioral issues don't help you win football games because they're not in the game. Guys sitting in the clink don't help you because they're not in the game.

Take it from me, as a guy who played on a team that had plenty of edge. Plenty of wanting to fight in the streets. Plenty of willing to cuss in public. Plenty of underage drinking. That stuff doesn't help you win. We didn't lose games because of it, but we also didn't win games based upon it.

We needed better players. Better players all over the field. We needed better coaching. Better coaching at nearly every position. If you want some edge to your football team, recruit tough kids. Kids that are going to drink, cuss and fight aren't anything to base your football team off of.

If you want to win, get better players; whether they are choir boys or not. And then coach them up. That's what Notre Dame has struggled with, and saying it has anything to do with not having "criminals" is looking for an excuse, and a terrible one at that.

As it stands right now, Brian Kelly's got an offensive line as mean as any in the country and he doesn't have to dig up criminals to do that. He's got a linebacker who is among the nation's best and he isn't one of the reported criminals that Pinkett would prefer. 

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