Saving Pinkett AND Kelly: A Notre Dame vs Navy preview

By Tom O'Toole

Allen Pinkett, a commentator on the IMG Notre Dame Radio Network who made unacceptable comments this week about student athletes, will not be part of this weekend’s broadcast in Dublin. Don Criqui and Jeff Jeffers will handle the broadcast duties. Notre Dame taking on Navy at the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin is an historic game showcasing the very best of American college sports. The event deserves to be free of distraction. Further decisions on this matter will be made in the coming days. –Andrew Giangola, vice president of communications for IMG Radio Network

To ensure the festive atmosphere of the second every-15-years-or-so Notre Dame Emerald Isle Classic, broadcaster and former record-breaking (as opposed to our current law-breaking) running back, Allen Pinkett, was sent packing, sent home to ponder the game (and his future) alone. It seems that, in accurately describing several of the Irish players as criminals, he became a criminal himself. With four Irish players sidelined with suspensions, Pinkett should be forgiven (and I personally hope he’s soon reinstated) for thinking the Irish were going in that direction, and it’s up to the Irish, not the radio or University brass, to show him that he’s wrong.

Indeed, playing Navy in the land of shamrocks and four leaf clovers should be the perfect game and place for the Irish to show Pinkett (and the world) that they have turned over a new leaf. Not long ago, Notre Dame was setting an NCAA record against this team with 43 consecutive victories; now Navy has won three of the last five. If they can duplicate last year’s 56-14 drubbing of the Midshipmen tomorrow in Dublin (and do so in a sportsmanlike fashion) they will set the table for the next four games, all of which get progressively harder, from middle-of-the-pack Purdue, to 12th-ranked Michigan State, to 8th-ranked and BCS contender Michigan. If not, they will look guilty of making Pinkett a scapegoat, for a team in which Coach Brian Kelly, not the radio announcer, should be punished.

At least Pinkett showed the Irish a way to win. Now it’s up to Kelly and his charges to show him a better one.

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