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And Another Thing

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Allen Pinkett is just misunderstood

So, lots of people (including the guy who resides here at the Blob) have been having lots of fun with Allen Pinkett since he said on the radio that it's a good sign for Notre Dame football that they have four guys suspended for the Navy game.

What ND needs is more criminal types, he said on a Chicago sports talk show the other day.

After which it was fair to wonder if he was broadcasting live from A) Mars or B) Jupiter. And if, back in the day, it would have been better for Notre Dame if their grudge match with Miami had been Convicts vs. Convicts instead of Catholics vs. Convicts.

But does all of that make it right that he's been pulled of the radio broadcast of the Navy game?

Seems a trifle harsh to me, but I get the reasoning; the powers-that-be don't want the "distraction." On the other hand, the man was asked an honest question and gave an honest answer. Can you not do that anymore in this world?

And here's the thing: I kind of get what he was getting at. I mean, look around: When Florida State was riding high, Steve Spurrier was calling it Free Shoes University after it came out that some Seminoles swiped athletic gear. Florida won two national titles under Urban Meyer at the same time 30 players were being arrested for one thing or another on Meyer's watch. And so on, and so on.

The thing is, of course, those schools aren't Notre Dame. And like the place or hate it, it's one of the few football factories left that actually makes an attempt (although not as much an attempt as the school's PR machine leads you to believe) to treat its unpaid gladiators as actual students.

For that reason, it's probably never going to be an Alabama or LSU or USC. What it is, these days, is Stanford. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Of course, that also makes it the absolutely worst place for Pinkett to make the suggestion he made. Although, again, I kinda get it.

Reminds me, frankly, of something a sportswriter in Muncie told me one time when we were talking about Ball State football's fall from grace under Dwight Wallace. Why weren't they winning anymore the way they won under Dave McClain.

"Because Dwight Wallace recruits student-athletes," the scribe joked. "McClain recruited animals."

Ahem.

Ben Smith's blog.

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