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Football: Kelly addresses Montana’s criticism

Observer Staff Report | Thursday, August 30, 2012

Former Irish quarterback and pro football Hall of Famer Joe Montana recently criticized Irish coach Brian Kelly after he chose sophomore Everett Golson as the team’s starting quarterback heading into the season opener against Navy in Dublin.

“Kelly can’t figure out what he wants,” Montana said in an ESPN.com chat. “Every one of the QBs that he has, he claims is the next star, but he doesn’t last long with them. He’s probably the least talented thrower they have, so maybe they’re looking to run the ball with him.”

Montana’s son, Nate, played for the Irish two seasons ago and saw limited action. Kelly responded to Montana’s criticism during Wednesday’s press conference.

“Well, Joe Montana is an icon,” Kelly said. “He’s entitled to his opinion about our football team. I think that’s all I’d say about that.”

Pinkett says team needs ‘bad citizens’

Following the May suspensions of junior quarterback Tommy Rees and senior linebacker Carlo Calabrese and this week’s suspensions of senior running back Cierre Wood and junior defensive end Justin Utupo, former Irish running back Allen Pinkett said the penalized players give the team an edge.

“I’ve always felt like to have a successful team you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett said in a radio interview with WSCR-AM 670. “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.”

Pinkett currently does the color commentary for Irish football games on the radio. Later during the day, he stepped back
from his controversial comments.

“It’s clear that I chose my words poorly and that an apology is in order for these inappropriate comments. My words do not reflect the strong pride and passion I have for the Notre Dame football program,” Pinkett said.

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick responded to Pinkett’s comments through a statement released by the school Wednesday.

“Allen Pinkett’s suggestion that Notre Dame needs more ‘bad guys’ on its football team is nonsense,” Swarbrick said in the statement. “Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation.”

Pinkett held the record for most career rushing yards before Autry Denson broke it. Pinkett ran for 4,131 yards and 49 touchdowns during his career that spanned from 1982-85.