Criminals vs. Character

Well, I guess there is no time like the start of the college season to say something entirely controversial pertaining to one of the most historically revered schools in the nation. With the media all abuzz about Allen Pinkett and his idea that Notre Dame needs a few "bad citizens" on the team to remain competitive with the rest of the country, it is somewhat fitting..

..that the Irish open the season against Navy, a place where character matters above anything else.

Pinkett will not get to see how this criminals vs. character match up plays out as he has been suspended from his job as the Notre Dame radio broadcast analyst for at least the first game of the season for the following remarks.

"I've always felt like, to have a successful team, you gotta have a few bad citizens on the team," Pinkett said. "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 gotta have a little bit of edge, but the coach has to be the dictator and ultimate ruler."

For the game in Dublin this weekend the Irish will be missing four players who have been suspended. The most notable of these is last years starting quarterback Tommy Rees, but all would have been key contributors on Saturday. Though Pinkett was clear to point out that he didn't want any "mass murderers or rapists" on the squad his statement has sparked outrage in South Bend.

Now we shouldn't get preachy about the standards of character in the Navy team, but it is fair to say that as college programs go the Midshipmen have a vetting and recruitment process unlike any other. Players can be disciplined and tough (at any level of the game) without breaking the law. That kind of mantra is pretty much exactly what the military relies on in order to protect and defend the country.

On foreign soil this Saturday Navy can prove character still matters by standing up and taking down Notre Dame in their adopted back yard. Though there are generally few neutrals when it comes to opinions on Notre Dame football, it is safe to say that the Midshipmen inherited a few more fans over the last 24 hours or so. Top Stories