SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick took exception Wednesday to comments by former Irish running back and current radio analyst Allen Pinkett, who said a team needs to have some bad guys because it provides an edge.
In a radio interview with Chicago's WSCR-AM, Pinkett said: "I've always felt like, to have a successful team, you have to have a few bad citizens on the team."
In a statement before the team left for Dublin for Saturday's season opener against Navy, Swarbrick called Pinkett's comments "nonsense."
Pinkett said that's how Ohio State used to be get an edge.
"They would have two or three guys that were criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team. So 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," Pinkett said.
Coach Brian Kelly recently suspended top tailback Cierre Wood and backup defensive end Justin Utupo for two games for violating team rules. Earlier, quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese were suspended for Saturday's opener against navy for their roles in a skirmish with police following a party in May.
"You can't have a football team full of choir boys, you know? You get your butt kicked if you have a team full of choir boys," Pinkett said.
Swarbrick disagreed in a statement released by 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."