- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Notre Dame IMG Radio Network has suspended analyst Allen Pinkett for three games without pay for recent controversial comments he made about his alma mater's football program.
Pinkett's suspension began with last weekend's game against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, and will include Saturday's game against Purdue and the Irish's Sept. 15 game at Michigan State. Pinkett will return to work the Sept. 22 game against Michigan.
"Allen has done a great job for the Notre Dame IMG Radio Network over the past four years, has a supportive fan base, and most importantly, has expressed deep heartfelt remorse for his choice of words, which were not in the spirit of college athletics," Notre Dame IMG Radio Network said in a statement. "After careful deliberation and thorough discussion, we believe the right decision is to allow a truly repentant Allen Pinkett an opportunity to return to the booth beginning with the fourth game of the college football season."
Pinkett has worked as Notre Dame's radio analyst since 2001. The two-time All-America running back with the Irish caused an uproar last Wednesday when he said that the school's recent suspensions of four players could actually be a sign the program is gaining an "edge" that will help it be more successful.
"I've always felt like to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team," he told WSCR-AM 670 last Wednesday. Pinkett didn't immediately back off his comments when given a chance later in the interview. "I absolutely meant that," he said.
But on Tuesday, he was more than remorseful.
"I love this school as much as I love my kids and would never want to compromise the ethics and morals of my alma mater, Notre Dame," Pinkett said in a statement. "I would again like to offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to all those affected by my inappropriate comments, particularly the university, the school's hard-working and courageous student athletes, all Fighting Irish fans and team supporters, our friends at The Ohio State University, and my colleagues at IMG Notre Dame Radio Network.
"This offering of forgiveness is an extremely humbling life lesson. I will work very hard to make the most of this second chance in representing the high standards and proud tradition of Notre Dame football."
No announcement has been made on who will work as play-by-play man Don Criqui's partner for the next two games. Jeff Jeffers filled in for Pinkett for the Navy game.
Pinkett included Ohio State in his apology because he mentioned the Buckeyes by comparison in his "bad citizens" analogy.
"That's how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team," Pinkett told WSCR-AM 670 last week. "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."
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