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Allen Pinkett says Notre Dame needs ‘criminals’ to win

Former Notre Dame greAllen Pinkett said Brian Kelly's team could use more 'criminals' if they want win. | AP

Former Notre Dame great Allen Pinkett said Brian Kelly's team could use more "criminals" if they want to win. | AP

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Updated: August 29, 2012 5:11PM

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was pepper-sprayed after resisting arrest and knocking the wind out of a South Bend police officer last May, according to police. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese was arrested for screaming at officers during the incident. Cierre Wood and Justin Utupo just got two-game suspensions for violating team rules. And in the spring of 2011, star receiver Michael Floyd picked up a DUI, his third alcohol-related offense.

That’s all fine by two-time All-American and current Notre Dame radio analyst Allen Pinkett.

“I’ve always felt like, to have a successful team, you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett told The Score (670-AM) on Wednesday. “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’ve got to have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and ultimate ruler.”

Irish coach Brian Kelly said his goal with the suspensions is to make his players “better citizens.” Pinkett sounded less than concerned with good citizenship, however.

“I absolutely meant that,” he said. “Chemistry is so important on a football team. You have to have a couple of bad guys that sort of teeter on that edge to add to the flavor of the guys that are going to always do right.

“You look at the teams that have won in the past. They always have a couple of criminals.”

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick made it clear that Pinkett shares a much different view than the school.

“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.”

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