Pinkel suspended after DUI arrest - KCTV5 News

Pinkel suspended after DUI arrest

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University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested Wednesday night for driving under the influence.

He has been suspended for a week without pay. He will miss Saturday's game against Texas Tech and will not be eligible for a bowl bonus if MU qualifies for a bowl game.

MU assistant coach Dave Steckel will lead the team against Tech. Pinkel will return for MU's last scheduled football game against the University of Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium.

Athletic Director Mike Alden on Thursday afternoon praised Pinkel's character and 11-year tenure at MU. Alden said it was "an isolated incident" that he does not believe will occur again. But Alden said Pinkel's actions go against the university's standards and warrant a reprimand.

"This is a serious breaking of those responsibilities," Alden said. "Gary is very remorseful."

Pinkel and Alden have met three times to discuss Alden's arrest. Pinkel met with his football team before he began serving his suspension at 2:45 p.m. Thursday. He cannot return to university facilities until Thanksgiving morning.

Pinkel was pulled over Wednesday evening at 10:15 p.m. on Keene Street north of Broadway by Boone County deputies.

"Last night after practice, I met some friends for dinner. After dinner, I was stopped by a Boone County officer and received a citation for impaired driving," Pinkel said in his first written news release.

The university issued a second statement on his behalf Thursday afternoon.

"I deeply regret the negative attention this has brought to the University of Missouri, and I offer my sincere apology to everyone associated with this institution," Pinkel said in the statement.

"I recognize that I've let everyone down and I fully accept the terms of this suspension. Everyone is held accountable in our program for their actions, and I'm not different. I hope that our fans will be supportive of our team during this team; they will need their encouragement."

According to deputies, Pinkel was pulled over for lane and signal violations and was the sole occupant of his vehicle, a Chevy Avalanche.

Deputies realized there was probable cause to check him for driving under the influence.

He was arrested for the charge of DWI, a first offense, and taken to Boone County jail.

He posted a $500 bond and was cooperative with deputies, Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Office said.

The report has been forwarded to Boone County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Alden said he was working out at university gym around 6 a.m. when Pinkel left him a telephone message on his cell phone about the arrest.

Pinkel has agreed to serve 50 hours of community service as part of his punishment from the university. He will donate $40,769, which is equal to a week's salary, to the MU Wellness Resource Center. His salary will be frozen for a year and he won't be eligible for a $50,000 salary raise. He will not receive a $100,000 "social/academic incentive," the university said.

If MU qualifies for a bowl game, Pinkel's arrest would cost him more than $306,000.

Pinkel has been head football coach at the University of Missouri since the 2001 season.

"We are extremely disappointed in Gary's lack of judgment. He is known as a man of great character and integrity. However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities. We hold ourselves to very high standards, and this is a very serious breach of those responsibilities," Alden said in a written news release before his news conference.

"We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly."

Missouri will join the SEC effective July 1, 2012, leaving the Big 12, a conference it has been a part of since 1907, including the league's days as the Big Eight.

"I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance. Nobody should drink and drive, including me. My staff and I constantly reinforce with each of our players the importance of not putting yourself into a position such as this. I did not follow that here and for that, I sincerely apologize to the University of Missouri, to our administration, to the Board of Curators and to our fans," Pinkel said in his first news release.

"I accept full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate."

Copyright 2011 KCTV. All rights reserved.

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