COLUMBIA, MO. (WSFA) - University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel was arrested late Wednesday night in Columbia, MO for Driving While Intoxicated.
KOMU 8 News in Columbia reports that Boone County Sheriff's Deputies pulled Pinkel over for lane and signal violations on Keene Street near Broadway around 10:00 p.m.
The Sheriff's Department said this is Pinkel's first offense, and deputies said he was cooperative at the time of his arrest.
Pinkel's arrest comes just 10 days after Mizzou announced its move from the Big XII Conference to the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Shortly after the story broke, Pinkel released this statement:
"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. 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."
Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden also released a statement:
"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. We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly."
At a news conference held this afternoon, Alden announced that Pinkel has been suspended for one full week without pay. This means he will miss Saturday's game against Texas Tech.
Also, when Pinkel returns on Thursday, November 24, he will donate his next week's salary to the MU Wellness Center. If Mizzou qualifies for a bowl game, Pinkel will not be entitled to a "bowl bonus." His salary is frozen for the following year, he must serve 50 hours community service, he must write a public letter of apology and a letter of reprimand will be placed in his file at the university.
Sports bloggers estimate that if Mizzou qualifies for a bowl game, Pinkel will lose somewhere in the ballpark of $306,000 as a direct result of his DWI.
Dave Steckel, the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Coach for the Mizzou football team will serve as acting coach during Pinkel's suspension.