Thursday, November 17, 2011

DUI Law: Gary Pinkle gets suspended for one week for DUI Arrest.

Mizzou suspends football coach Gary Pinkel after DWI.

Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel was suspended one week without pay and will miss Saturday's game against Texas Tech after he was was arrested Wednesday night in Columbia, Mo., on suspicion of DWI.

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden also said that when Pinkel returns to work next Thursday, he will donate one week's pay to the MU Program for Alchol Awareness.  He also will have his salary frozen for one year. He signed a two-year extension in April with a guaranteed salary of $2.35 million.  Pinkel will also receive no bonus if MU qualifies for a bowl -- they need to win one more game -- and will write a letter of apology to MU fans and do 50 hours of community service, Alden said.

If Mizzou reaches a bowl game, the financial impact would be $306,538, school officials said.  Defensive coordinator Dave Steckel will take over for Pinkel, who is to have no involvement in the remaining game preparation for Texas Tech and is to be out until next Thursday.

Alden said that he met with Pinkel three times today and described the coach as very "remorseful." Alden said this was a "serious breaking" of responsibilities and that any repeat incident would incur harsher penalties, up to and including termination.  A Boone County deputy stopped Pinkel, 59, in the northbound lane of the 200 block of North Keene Street near Broadway about 10:15 p.m. for lane and signal violations, said Boone County Sheriff's Maj. Tom Reddin.

Pinkel was driving north in a Chevrolet Avalanche when he was stopped and was the only person in the vehicle, Reddin said.  Pinkel cooperated with the deputy and was booked at the Boone County Jail on suspicion of DWI, a misdemeanor, Reddin said. Pinkel posted a $500 bail and was released on the first-offense charge.

Reddin would not comment on whether Pinkel agreed to a breath or blood test. Reddin said the case would be presented to prosecutors.  Last summer, Pinkel appeared in a series of poster advertisements promoting motorcycle safety created by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety as part of its "Share the Road" campaign.  MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a statement: "I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about Coach Pinkel. Coaches must hold themselves to the very highest of standards. His lack of judgment is especially concerning since he serves as a role model for our students. I expect (athletics director) Mike Alden to take appropriate action and he has my support in doing so. I also expect and believe that Coach Pinkel will accept full responsibility for his actions and will act in accordance with the standards he expects from his players."

In a statement, Pinkel said, "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 DWI. "First and foremost, 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.

"I have already met with our staff and communicated with our players and have apologized to them. I accept full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate."

Alden released a statement about Pinkel's arrest.
"We are extremely disappointed in Gary's lack of judgment," the statement said. "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. We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly."
Pinkel has been known for a no-nonsense attitude toward transgressions committed by his players or assistant coaches.

After MU players Will Ebner and Beau Brinkley were arrested on similar charges last year, each sat out two games.  That came weeks after Mizzou assistant coach Bruce Walker was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
and was handed undisclosed, stiff internal penalties.

When then-MU head football coach Woody Widenhofer was arrested for a DWI a few blocks from his home after a win over Kansas State in 1987, Widenhofer missed no games and later pleaded guilty. He was fined $500.  "I pleaded guilty today because I made a mistake," he said then. "I never had any idea to contest it. I made a mistake. I'm sorry for it. I'm ready to get on with business."
Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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