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College

McNeil: Pinkett Was Wrong About ‘Criminals’

Notre Dame helmet. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Notre Dame helmet. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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By Dan McNeil-

Allen Pinkett didn’t get into any trouble when he was wearing that fabled gold helmet in South Bend, Ind., in the mid-1980s. He waited until he was 48 to take a seat in the Dean of Discipline’s office.

The Notre Dame radio analyst had his headset taken away Thursday and returned from Dublin where the Fighting Irish open the season against Navy Saturday. It looks like they’re serious about cleaning up the image at ol’ Notre Dame.Mitt Romney and BainTurning Around Failing Businesses. Get The Facts About Obama’s

Pinkett rattled Irish Nation and stole the spotlight from the first weekend of the college football season nationally Wednesday when he suggested his alma mater would benefit from accepting a criminal element.

Though I disagree with comments Pinkett made on my radio show, they were far more honest than the former running back’s “save-my-butt” apology offered later that evening.

Given several chances to reshape his outlandish thoughts, the former ND running back dug his heels in even more.

“Oh, I absolutely meant that,” Pinkett said when my co-host, Matt Spiegel, encouraged Pinkett to reconsider the notion that “criminals add to the chemistry of the team.”

“Bad guys add to the flavor,” Pinkett continued. “I don’t want any mass murderers or rapists. … I want guys who maybe get arrested because they got in a fight at the bar.”

It’s doubtful Brian Kelly would concur. The third-year Irish coach is sitting three projected starters for assorted transgressions on the season opener Saturday against Navy.

For the rest of McNeil’s column, please click here.