Notre Dame players appear to unaffected by Allen Pinkett, former Irish running back and football analyst on the Notre Dame IMG Sports Network, and his comments Wednesday on WSCR-AM radio in Chicago.
When linebacker and captain Manti Te'o was asked about Pinkett's statement that Notre Dame needs criminals to win after Thursday's practice in Dublin, Ireland, the senior initially respond, "Who?" according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In Wednesday's radio interview Pinkett said: "I've always felt like to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team. I mean, 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.
"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.
"You can't have a football team full of choir boys. You get your butt kicked if you've got a team full of choir boys. So you've got to have a little bit of edge. But the coach has to be the dictator and the ultimate ruler. Here's my opinion: You don't hand out suspensions unless you know you've got somebody behind that guy that can make plays."
After being told about the comment Te'o told reporters he didn't agree with that line of thinking.
"More criminals? He said that?" Te'o said. "No, we just need more ballplayers and more guys that love to play the game. That's all."
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick also swiftly disagreed with Pinkett saying in a statement issued Wednesday, "Allen Pinkett's suggestion that Notre Dame needs more 'bad guys' on its football team is nonsense. Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation."
Pinkett also apologized for his comments Wednesday.
"In reviewing my remarks from a radio interview Wednesday, it's clear that I chose my words poorly and that an apology is in order for these inappropriate comments," Pinkett said in a statement. "My words do not reflect the strong pride and passion I have for the Notre Dame football program.
"I am deeply sorry and did not intend to take away the focus from the upcoming season opener. I especially would like to offer my sincere apology to the current members of Notre Dame's football team, including Coach Kelly, the entire Notre Dame community, the IMG College Audio Network and the Ohio State football program. As a proud Notre Dame graduate, I wish nothing but the best for our football team and the University.
"I understand that there may be consequences to my actions and accept whatever discipline is imposed."
Notre Dame plays Navy at 9 a.m. Saturday.