Allen Pinkett

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Allen Pinkett
No. 20
Born: (1964-01-25) January 25, 1964 (age 54)
Washington, D.C.
Career information
Position(s) Running back
College Notre Dame
NFL draft 1986 / Round: 3 / Pick 61
Career history
As player
1986–1991 Houston Oilers

New Orleans Saints

  • training camp roster only

Allen Pinkett (born January 25, 1964) is a former professional American football player who played running back for six seasons for the Houston Oilers. He grew up in the Sterling, Virginia area and attended Park View High School there in the early 1980s.

College playing career[edit]

Pinkett was a two-time All-American at Notre Dame who played in the Gerry Faust era. In 1985, he was eighth in the Heisman balloting. He was Notre Dame's career rushing leader with 4,131 yards until Autry Denson broke his record in 1998, with 4,318 yards. Pinkett was the first Notre Dame player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. He had 1,179 in 1983, 1,268 in 1984 and 1,176 in 1985. He remains the Irish career scoring leader with 53 touchdowns, including 49 rushing. He is tied with Vagas Ferguson (1976–1979) for the most rushing TDs in a single season. Pinkett had 17 TDs in 1984 and Ferguson had 17 in 1979. Pinkett scored 4 TDs against Penn State at Happy Valley on November 12, 1983 and scored 3 against the Nittany Lions at Notre Name Stadium on November 17, 1984.

Professional playing career[edit]

Pinkett played six seasons for the Houston Oilers, from 1986-91. In his career with the Oilers, he gained 2,624 yards rushing with 21 TDs, and caught 119 passes and 5 TDs. He was the team's leading rusher in his final year, 1991, with 720 yards.

Post-playing career[edit]

Pinkett is currently the color commentator for Notre Dame's football games broadcast by IMG College. He was removed from the broadcasting team on August 30, 2012 following inappropriate remarks. In 2010, he split play-by-play partners with Don Criqui, who did home Notre Dame's football games, and Dick Enberg, who did road Notre Dame's football games. He was also a sideline reporter for the NFL on Westwood One and did color analyzing with Jim Henderson on radio broadcasts for the New Orleans Saints.


On August 29, 2012, Pinkett appeared on WSCR in Chicago and said that there's nothing wrong with having "a few bad citizens" on Notre Dame's roster, and that a team "full of choirboys" wouldn't win many games. Given a chance to clarify his remarks, Pinkett claimed that winning teams always had "a couple of criminals" on their rosters. Notre Dame's athletic department harshly condemned Pinkett's remarks, and IMG suspended him for three games.[1]