Originally published November 17, 2011 at 10:04a.m., updated November 17, 2011 at 01:14p.m.

Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel could face DWI charge


— Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel offered a public apology Thursday after his overnight arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.


Boone County Sheriff's Department

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested on Nov. 16, 2011, on suspicion of drunk driving.

Boone County Sheriff's Office records show that deputies pulled Pinkel over in Columbia, Mo., and jailed him Wednesday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was released from the Boone County Jail after posting a $500 bond. A county prosecutor said that no decision had been made about filing formal criminal charges.

In a written statement, Pinkel said he "accept(s) full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate." The coach said he was stopped by deputies after a post-practice dinner with friends.

"First and foremost, I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance," Pinkel said. "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."

The sheriff's department said the incident is Pinkel's first offense.

Pinkel is in his 11th season with the Tigers. He is 82-54 overall, including three 10-win seasons in the last four years and six consecutive bowl game appearances. Missouri (5-5) faces Texas Tech on Saturday its final home game of the season before a game in Kansas City against Kansas next week. Those are likely the school's final football games in the Big 12 Conference as it prepares to move to the Southeastern Conference as soon as next year.

Pinkel said he has met with his coaching staff about the incident and also apologized to his players.

The university's news release also included a statement from athletic director Mike Alden, who said he was "extremely disappointed in Gary's lack of judgment" but also called the coach a "man of great character and integrity."

"This absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities," said Alden, who planned to meet with reporters Thursday afternoon. "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."

Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton issued his own statement criticizing Pinkel's "lack of judgment" — a day after Deaton told a meeting of Missouri professors that alcohol abuse among students is a growing problem on campus.

"Coaches must hold themselves to the very highest of standards," Deaton said. "I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about coach Pinkel."

The chancellor's statement, like Alden's, suggested that Pinkel could face disciplinary action from the school as well as possible criminal charges.

"I expect Mike Alden to take appropriate action and he has my support in doing so," Deaton said. "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 April, Pinkel received a two-year contract extension through the 2017 season. He earns a guaranteed annual salary of $2.35 million. His teams have largely avoided off-field trouble, although two players and assistant coach Bruce Walker were arrested on alcohol-related charges in August 2010.


Displayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Probably trying to drown out the thought of facing SEC competition next year!

jhox 10 years, 6 months ago

That's exactly what I told my co workers today!

You have to love the double standard at play here though. He gives his players 2 game suspensions for DUI's yet he only gets one. How convenient that the second game, had he been suspended for it, will be against KU.

I checked out the Tiger Board and I can't believe how 90% or more seem to be mad at the police for doing their jobs. I don't know about the rest of you, but if this happened to, say, Bill Self in Lawrence, I would want him treated the same as anyone else. If this happened to me, I would feel the same way. There is a reason why we have tough DUI laws. Drinking and driving kills. (I'm no angel in this regard, but I like to think I know when I shouldn't be getting behind the wheel of a car, though I know it is difficult to judge sometimes and mistakes can happen.) I do give Pinkel credit for being "stand up" about it. He's taking his medicine like a man, and admitting he made a mistake. At least he's not making excuses.

The other argument I keep seeing on Tiger Board is that nobody got hurt, so this arrest is basically a joke. I can't help but wonder how those same people would have felt had one of their loved ones been killed by Pinkel if he had been in an accident. He did put innocent people at risk, and needs to be held accountable.

Displayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Probably trying to drown out the thought of facing SEC competition next year!

Funhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

You fellow Jayhawk fans can gripe about our coach all you want, but he will never be arrested for DWI.

flyingfinn 10 years, 6 months ago

Yes and he will never have a winning season. We all know he's a good guy, he's just not a good head footbal coach so what's your point.

AzNHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I think the moral would be that Gill would be an outstanding role model for the players and people around him. He also wouldn’t bring anymore publicity/shame etc etc to KU. Especially considering the ticket scandal that we went through. Yeah yeah go ahead and say it- “KU football is an embarrassment and we’re the worst team in the nation” etc etc etc. Yes, the W’s column hasn’t been great, but life goes on and there are other things that are far more important than football, x’s, o’s, W’s and L’s.

Football is just that – A GAME. It’s unfortunate that people take it soooooooo darn seriously to the point of death or serious injury (Ex: Oakland Raiders football games where a few fans got beat up)

mom_of_three 10 years, 6 months ago

It's more than just a game if you get paid millions in a contract to coach it. And I dont think they pay football coaches simply to be good role models.
It would be nice, but they don't.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 6 months ago

You're right, they're paid to coach, but its a bonus when your coach also happens to be a good role model.

oldvet 10 years, 6 months ago

He's being paid to be a good football coach... which he is not! If he wants to be a good role model, then quit as the football coach and become the team chaplain.

Damian Glaze 10 years, 6 months ago

Your example is bogus. When was the last time a fan was beat up at an Okland Raiders game in Okland? How about three or four years ago. The incidents you are probably referring to were in San Franciscso and San Diego - and the San Diego incident was between two San Diego fans and residents. Kansas City has had just as many incidents with fan violence as Okland has over the last 10 years. Educate yourself and quit spewing mythicaly events the media loves bring up when talking about the Raiders.

AzNHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I was actually referring to the 49ers-Raiders game where some fans were hurt. Whether it was through a shooting or beating that I dont remember. This was months ago. Perhaps at the beginning of the NFL season.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

That game was in San Francisco, so it would have been more appropriate to refer to it being a 49ers game.

bad_dog 10 years, 6 months ago

No, it was during the Oakland-San Francisco pre-season game earlier this year.

And it was more than just fans getting "beat-up". A man was beaten unconscious and there were shootings as well.

The situation was serious enough authorities are seeking to end the annual pre-season game between the two teams.

Perhaps the above links will help you become educated such that you can prevent future mythical "spewing" on your part

bad_dog 10 years, 6 months ago

this comment was intended for deke's consumption.

AzNHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the links. Those were the exact events I was referring to.

Regardless of where the incident happened the emphasis I was trying to make stands in my first post about football being just that – a game. And that it is unfortunate that injury and harm can result due to taking a game to an extreme and out of proportion level of seriousness.

Damian Glaze 10 years, 6 months ago

I am aware of the events and I have seen a ton of the videos. All of which show that 49er fans were the catalyst for the action. So, my comment still stands that painting Okland Raiders fans and games as the only people and place that this happens is absolutely false. I'm pretty sure there have been a few fans beaten to a pulp at a Miami game, Jacksonville game and a Tennessee game over the last year. Using the Raiders as the example is mythical and spewing media-driven nonsense. That was my point.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 6 months ago

  1. Gill brings plenty of shame to KU football.
  2. If you are hired to do a job, and you can't do that job, or fail to do that job, you are relieved from the responsibility of doing that job.
  3. Yes, there ARE things that are more important than football. Like the vast cavern separating the wealthiest 1% of people in America and the other 99%. Kansas has literally given Turner Gill millions of dollars, while other people are unemployed, or work multiple minimum wage jobs and still cannot provide food for their families, and in turn, Turner Gill simply fails at his job and continues to receive fat checks. Tell me more about this morality you speak of.

misfire 10 years, 6 months ago

It's not just a game. It's big business, and, along with men's basketball, supports all the other sports. If you don't put butts in the seats, you are a failing business.

okiedave 10 years, 6 months ago

Never is a long time flyingfinn. Look at the abuse Pinkle took for several years before bringing Missery around to winning seasons. KU cannot hire a coach and expect flash in the pan results. KU needs to learn perseverance before they will every have a consistently good football program.

Jayhawk1116 10 years, 6 months ago

Love it! If any KU fans go to the Border War game that's what they should chant.

Pitthawk34 10 years, 6 months ago

I will be at the game helping with the chant. I think I will also take that picture of Gary with the word "convict" on a sign at the game.

Jayhawk1116 10 years, 6 months ago

At some point during the pre-game at the stadium you know they're going to play a "don't drink and drive" ad starring some state trooper. I would love to hear the KU fans when that goes up.

Chris Kurtz 10 years, 6 months ago

I think they removed the video, but at the end Gary Pinkel says something like, "It's your turn to be a tiger. Buckle up, stay sober and arrive alive."

Chris Kurtz 10 years, 6 months ago

Link down now. Youtube search MU commercial no substitues. should be able to find it.

Joe Joseph 10 years, 6 months ago

I thought driving while intoxicated was legal in Missouri.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 6 months ago

I think you're confusing being meth'ed out of your head. I'm pretty sure thats OK in misery.

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

Contrary to popular belief around these parts of Kansas, most of the population in Missouri doesn't at all condone the use of illegal drugs. It's unfortunate that a small portion of the state's population gives the whole state a bad wrap. Missouri actually doesn't have the highest concentration of meth users among the general population.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 6 months ago

Just good natured ribbing, to one of our longest standing rivalries, that is now finished due to a greedy, short sighted administration.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 6 months ago

One huge flaw with that report: Quest Diaganotics does drug testing for companies. There data does not account for the folks who are not in a drug testing pool, which probably accounts for the greatest majority of meth users.

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

Very true, the VAST majority of meth use is in the southern, more "mountainous" area of the state where it's very rural. Once you get north of Springfield, Missouri is, for the most part, clean.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 6 months ago

Homonyms are popular too! I guess Missouri doesn't have the highest concentration of people who know the difference between 'rap' and 'wrap'.

Pbbut 10 years, 6 months ago

Only if you're driving directly to or from an interstate porn shop.

AzNHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Bad publicity for the Tigers and head coaches in general. Lots of coaches out there getting bad publicity for their actions.

Jim Leavitt and his USF incident, Mike Leach and TT & Adam James, Jim Tressel and the tattoo stuff, Joe Pa and the Penn State scandal, now Gary Pinkel with this. It’s a darn shame.

cabella 10 years, 6 months ago

Yea, i have a new Facebook avatar now.

KGphoto 10 years, 6 months ago

Can you get a sign into Arrowhead with that on it? Somehow somebody needs to get on this. Roll it up, piece it together in the stadium if you have to, but get some seats near a TV camera and make this happen!

RockCaCO3 10 years, 6 months ago

"A Missouri football spokesman said Pinkel was not available for comment Thursday morning, because he was still drunk, but would release a statement later".

Alan Braun 10 years, 6 months ago

I doubt it. Didn't Frank Martin get a DUI a couple of years ago? He's still there. He'll only get fired if he starts losing or if he gets a 2nd DUI.

bad_dog 10 years, 6 months ago

I believe it was K-State assistant Dalonte Hill

pepper_bar 10 years, 6 months ago

KU's basketball program, of course, is a paragon of lawfulness and virtue.

Damian Glaze 10 years, 6 months ago

Kids will be kids. DUIs among student athletes are a dime a dozen on every campus. Hell, even BYU has had a case or two every now and again. Coaches and administrators are a whole other issue that deserves being ridiculed when these things happen. Pinkel and other high paid staff can afford to grab a cab or pay a student or someone to transport them when they have a few too many. DUI for anyone is inexcusable, but for people making the kind of money they do is arrogant and downright stupid. I'm not holier than thou either. I set aside about $100 a month so I can tear it up a couple times a month. I don't make a tenth of what Pinkel makes but I get paid fairly well; and that is just part of the cost for the activities I choose to participate in here in Scottsdale/Phoenix. I know a cab in Boone County doesn't cost as much as it does here, so that makes Pinkel a cheap idiot.

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 6 months ago

Wait a minute. It sounds like you're comparing Missery football to KU basketball. Please let me you're not doing that.

KU's basketball program is iconic. Championships galore, star players, a nationally (at least) recognized brand.

Missery football ???????????????????????????????


I love it.

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 6 months ago

Uh, yeah, and 51 conference championships, more than any other program. If you really are a KU fan, don't be a short-sighted moron. Conference championships matter. Most schools, missery included, would LOVE to win one.

Hammertoe 10 years, 6 months ago

The only problem is nobody cares about basketball

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 6 months ago

Lots of people do, actually. The NCAA tournament is kind of a big deal in case you haven't noticed. Quite a few viewers tuning in for that.

If you're a missery fan, I can see how you actually wouldn't have noticed. But then again, if you're a missery fan, surprised that you've noticed that football is a big deal too. You are, after all, a mid-tier program at very best. Not like you've even been to a BCS game.


kcibanker 10 years, 6 months ago

Really? Are you truly that stupid? The NCAA tournament generates over $1 billion per year and is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. If "nobody cares about basketball" I highly doubt Kobe would make $50+ mil per year. Shouldn't you be deer hunting or something?

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 6 months ago

Hunting for meth more likely.

It has to be all the meth that keeps that fan base thinking they're at all relevant.

The only thing they've got going for them is location - situated between 2 decent TV markets. The only reason the SEC wanted them.

Seth Nesmith 10 years, 6 months ago

Were any of quin snyder's recruits in the car with him?

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 6 months ago

Pinkle was not able to speak due to cotton mouth. But will release a statement after a gator aid and some advil.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

As Hermainie was quoted from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, ."What an idiot!!!"

He was either mourning his receding hairline or thinking, " gosh, after this season, I'll never see five victories again.

Nice job, Mizzou..DWI Football Coach and NCAA violater Basketball Coach.

With the Penn State thing going on, you'd think every head coach in America would be on their best behavior........unbelievable!!!

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

You'd think.....I guess no one is immune to dumbass mistakes. Bad publicity for Missouri. No worse than the KU ticket scandal though.

Jayhawk1116 10 years, 6 months ago

Disagree. The people involved in the ticket scandal were no-name office people. Pinkel is the face of Mizzou athletics (and a head coach). Everyone knows who he is.

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

Mm...good point. Only thing is this won't cost millions of dollars to fix, unless the university fires Pinkel, which at this point I don't see happening.

Alex Berger 10 years, 6 months ago

So I think the verdict is that this is bad for Mizzou's image and the ticket inconvenience was bad for KU's wallet. Wanna swap?

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

It'll be forgotten about soon enough. Everything will move on, tis life.

bad_dog 10 years, 6 months ago

Only in Mizzery will it be "forgotten" ;-)

jgkojak 10 years, 6 months ago

Say goodbye to the Penn State job, Pinkel.

I really thought he was a leading candidate (if they're playing D-1 football next year, which remains to be seen).

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

Just as a note, they are playing D1 football right now, there is no way that PSU football goes away.

Hopefully they will want Turner Gill to clean up their program...I'm sure we will ship him there, if they would be willing to pick up part of his contract.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 6 months ago

We should write a letter of recommendation...

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 6 months ago

...or better yet, get Tom Osborn to do it!

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 6 months ago

He could probably show up hammer-faced and win that game, I'm afraid.

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 6 months ago

To be a member in good standing, the SEC requires the coach of any major sport (i.e., football) to maintain a BAC of > 0.10 as long as they remain ambulatory.

shelleysue 10 years, 6 months ago

Oh bootlegger. I almost feel sorry for you. The SEC is going to totally suck for you. As if being a Missouri Tiger isn't bad enough, now you're going to be a Missouri Tiger in the SEC. It's going to be so much fun looking at the scores on Sunday. Good riddance.

burritobill 10 years, 6 months ago

You are no different than a Mizzou fan that buys UNI or VCU shirt.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

You're right, burrito, making fun of a team losing (that has nothing to do with your own team) is exactly the same as making fun of a coach who's supposed to be a role model doing something incredibly stupid.

blindrabbit 10 years, 6 months ago

Mizzoufan: You are right the KU ticket scam was a mess and embarrassment; but I don't think there was much talk of public endangerment like a DWI escapade might envision! But what really upsets Mizzou fans is the missed chance to join the Big10 now that Penn State's football future is questionable and that Mizzou has already committed to the SEC; there may be a chance for a new Big10 replacement.

Mizzoufan 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm excited for the SEC move myself. However, I would have liked us to stay in the Big 12. I think we won't won't win as much in the SEC, obviously. Here again, going into the eastern division will make it a little easier on us to begin with. In a few years I imagine we can compete right along with the rest of the SEC.

puddleglum 10 years, 6 months ago

" In a few years I imagine we can compete right along with the rest of the SEC."

oh boy.

well, I can't find it in my heart to feel sorry for MIZZOU, but Gary made a mistake and luckily, he didn't anyone. Everybody deserves second chances.
Speaking of which, maybe QuinSynder could make a comeback? where is homey these days?

danmoore 10 years, 6 months ago

No excuses for Pinkel. Be thankful no one was killed. I may not respect their fans but I have always respected the coach. Atleast I did. Let's see how he handles the aftermath.

Graczyk 10 years, 6 months ago

I hope he gets the help he needs to not make this mistake again.

But as far as football rivalries go, Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

danmoore 10 years, 6 months ago

Blindrabbit: I pondered the possibility that Penn State would get expelled from the conference but arrived at the conclusion that they would not. It was Jim Delaney and 11 university presidents who signed off on Nebraska and said to hell with history and the integrity of student-athletes. This from a conference that was already generating the highest revenues in college sports. The Big 10 is all about money and it seems unlikely they would get rid of one of their top earners unless the scandal is much worse than what has been reported. And, I don’t think the NCAA will hand down the death penalty because crimes are not a violation of their bylaws. But if I’m wrong it will start the realignment carousel and I can’t speculate on who they would go after.

tis4tim 10 years, 6 months ago

Look no further than twisting someone's egregious misstep into a punchline or a t-shirt slogan as to why our populous is rapidly devolving.

I realize he's the coach of our soon-to-be ex-arch-rival, but some things fall outside the scope of good fun. Kicking a man when he's already down would be one of them.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 6 months ago

So now when ku plays Mizzou in Arrowhead there will be two intern coaches on the sidelines!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

First offense. No one hurt or killed. No damage to property. Arrested in total Tigerland.

I predict a fine, suspended sentence, slap on the wrist by the university and a ton of community hours.

No way Misery boots him out, as they are about to enter the lions den of the SEC next way!!

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 6 months ago

Let's be nice. There is a good reason for us to be gracious toward Gary Pinkel. Suppose he goes to the SEC and it dooms his tenure at MU as it most likely will. Give them about two or three years and he will be gone.

I think that since Misery will be in another conference the idea of him coaching at a Big12 school is not out of the question. I think he would be a good hire for KU several years from now if things don't work out for Gill. It could help us to continue to recruit Missouri when their program tanks in the SEC. He has done a good job over there.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

Gill has two games left, and we aren't going to replace him with some Missouri washout.

Displayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

"Coaches must hold themselves to the very highest of standards," Deaton said. "I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about coach Pinkel."

Now that's the pot calling the kettle black! Brady "Duck & Run" Deaton talking about the highest of moral standards, when he was trying to find Mizcue a new conference while acting as the chairman of the Big 12 conference; whose main responsibility was to help strengthen and preserve the Big 12 conference.

Robert Brown 10 years, 6 months ago

I guess 'piling on' is the best way for some to cope with the pathetic state of the KU football team. Unless you have NEVER gotten behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, you probably shouldn't comment. I give Pinkel credit for owning up to his poor judgement and taking full responsibility for his actions. Not everyone does that. I'm sure he will some type of 'slap on the hand' which I'm not sure does any good. I'm also sure that his 'punishment' is related to his success on the field which also does not send a good message.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

I never have had a drink in my life, and this is more serious than what people say. If anyone called me and said I'm drunk I need a ride...I would do it. There is probably about a 1000 people on this KU site that would do the same. There is no excuse for this and it is inexcusable....And to tell you the truth this is 10x worse than what MM did with a stupid poke to the check or Leach did by putting a person with a concussion in a dark room (that is what doctors recommend and that is what they did with Tebow to make sure he didn't have ill affects).

This excuse is not acceptable.

Kc Ticketguy 10 years, 6 months ago

Looks like they SUSPENDED Pinkel!

One week suspension...Man what a huge suspension! Way to really set the bar high MU.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 6 months ago

Gary (one) Drinkels ( too many) Pinkel.....Gary Drinkels too much Pinkel.

shotgun 10 years, 6 months ago

When Texas and Oklahoma flee the dwindling XII, KU will be in Mountain West!

PS Kansas has a lot Drunks, Meth and Crack heads too!

Who among us here have been behind the wheel with a .008 blood alcohol level?

If you think you haven't, you are in denial or you don't drink.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 10 years, 6 months ago

Rich public figures are held to another standard. That's the way it is. He's typical missouri trash.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't drink

I thought it was .08 for the level? .008 is probably that you swallowed your mouthwash in the morning.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 6 months ago

I am now dumber after reading this post. Thank you...

Funhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Coach Naismith preached total abstinence from alcohol. Naismith did not drink liquor, did not cuss, went to church, and he had a losing record as a KU coach. “Fire the coach!”

blindrabbit 10 years, 6 months ago

Mizzou on it's way to earning respectability for entrance into the SEC! As goofy as our governor Smilin Sam Brownback is, I can only feel sorry for you western Mizzourians for having easterly Jay Nixon selling you to the St. Louis crowd and the SEC.

danmoore 10 years, 6 months ago

Last year two of his own players got 2 weeks for the same thing but the coach only gets one. Hmmm, that seems reasonable.

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