Originally published November 21, 2011 at 03:13p.m., updated November 21, 2011 at 04:56p.m.

Contrite Gary Pinkel apologizes after DWI arrest, plea


— Suspended Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said Monday that he "failed miserably" as a role model after his recent drunken-driving arrest and guilty plea.

Speaking on the fifth day of a weeklong, unpaid suspension handed down hours after the Nov. 16 incident, Pinkel met with reporters at his attorney's office to publicly discuss his arrest and subsequent conviction for the first time. The coach said he convened the news conference to reduce distractions as the Tigers prepare to face Kansas on Saturday, perhaps for the final time in the schools' 120-year rivalry as Missouri looks to leave the Big 12 Conference for the SEC as soon as next season.

"As you know, I've taken full responsibility for my lack of judgment and poor decision," he said. "I've hurt and disappointed a lot of people ... I've always tried to be a good and positive role model.

"Now it's up to me to begin earning everyone's trust and respect back," he added. "This will never, ever happen again."

Pinkel, 59 and in his 11th season with the Tigers, did not coach during a last-minute, 31-27 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, a victory that makes Missouri (6-5) eligible for a seventh consecutive bowl appearance. He instead watched the game on television with friends at a Lake of the Ozarks condominium, calling his absence for the final home game of his senior players "gut-wrenching."

"If we didn't win that game, I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life," Pinkel said.

Pinkel plans to return to work on Thanksgiving as the Tigers prepare for the neutral site game against their oldest rival at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Two days after his arrest, Pinkel appeared at a hastily scheduled court hearing and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving. He received a 30-day suspended sentence along with two years' probation — a sentence both his lawyers and Boone County prosecutors said is standard for first offenders in DWI cases.

Following his plea, the Boone County Sheriff's Office released a dashboard camera video of Pinkel's arrest .The recording shows Pinkel stumbling over a request to recite the alphabet and unable to count backward from 73 to 62. He told the arresting officer he had consumed two "jumbo" glasses of wine over 90 minutes during a post-practice dinner with friends at a Columbia restaurant.

Court records show that Pinkel was driving just after 10 p.m. Wednesday when he failed to signal a lane change and then took a wide turn that crossed a double yellow line, nearly hitting a curb. Pinkel refused the deputy's request to take a breath test and also initially refused to provide a blood sample. He later consented to the blood test after the deputy took him to a nearby hospital. Those results will likely not be processed now that Pinkel has pleaded guilty.

Bogdan Susan, one of several attorneys who represented Pinkel, said the quick plea deal was not an attempt to evade further scrutiny or to keep the results of his blood-alcohol test from being released.

"It's a very common thing," said Susan, who handles numerous alcohol-related offenses. "The majority of (DWI) cases are resolved without a blood sample."

Legal penalties aside, the incident could cost Pinkel as much as $306,000. Under the school's punishment, he forfeits a $75,000 bonus his contract stipulates for bowl appearances as well as a $100,000 annual payment for meeting certain team academic and social responsibility goals. He also loses an automatic $50,000 raise at the end of the year and one week's worth of his base salary and guaranteed incentives. The coach plans to donate another week's worth of his salary and incentives to a campus alcohol education effort.

Pinkel, who win or lose rarely shows much outward emotion, was noticeably contrite during his brief session with reporters.

"I'm 59 years old. I can't ever remember once hurting my family, my friends, the team I was associated with as a coach and as a player, ever," he said. "This is one of the most devastating things to ever happen to me personally."


ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 8 months ago

...watched the game on television with friends at a Lake of the Ozarks condominium...= meth den

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

That was frackin funny ahperse.. I usually don't like how you roll but that was good !

LngTimeFan 10 years, 8 months ago

I am not a Pinkel fan at all, and I destest MU to the max. But, I have to give Pinkel credit for taking his punishment, being humbled by it, and moving on. We at KU should have such humility and integrity in our football coach.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 8 months ago

Are you saying we don't? We're better off - our coach doesn't do the stuff that requires a plea and punishment.

Kevin Studer 10 years, 8 months ago

If all it takes to be a worthy coach is to not be arrested, then sign me up. I don't drink and drive or beat my wife, and I will gladly take $2 million a year for it.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say that. I was merely responding to a comment that Pinkel had more integrity and humility than our football coach.

Besides we're talking about humility - I don't see much of that in your post.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 8 months ago

I had Mizzou buddies claiming his BAC was only slightly over the limit. After the details emerged that he was driving 30 mph on the highway, couldn't recite the alphabet from E to R and when asked to count backwards from 73 to 62 he responded with "I can't do that normally, are you kidding me?"...... how can you not assume he was hammered?

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Whoa Whoa Whoa.............................hawkinator - you have Mizzou buddies???

This calls for your immediate resignation from this and any other KU sites.

All in fun sir. But be careful who your friends are.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 8 months ago

I was with you 'til the "all in fun" part!!!

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago


Ah - we all make mistakes.

Not many THAT serious though!!

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 8 months ago

His claim of "two jumbo" glasses of wine and his apparent intoxication don't match up. Either he is not used to drinking at all or he is a bold face liar. I've had two glasses of wine in two hours and never, EVER have I been as sloppy drunk as he was seen on the video. My feeling is he has a huge, huge alcohol problem and was finally caught.

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

Still wondering why Mizzou is acting so angry about this and failed to even suspend him as long as the players for the same crime. That's total BS.

Kevin Randell 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't worry buddy. You're AD and President of the University just sealed your doom. I say you if you have this same record next year in the SEC you will be shown the door. Because the same a$$ clowns who decided it was best to leave the Big XII will make the same decision that it is best to go in a different direction. your money and get that resume of yours up to date.

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

Not sure I would "update" that resume too much.

kranny 10 years, 8 months ago

Will there be a poster contest for the most creative work in regards to "Pickled Pinkle" at the game next Saturday? It will give me a reason to watch the game. Hate to be negative, just sayin'.......

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

That's the most positive comment of the football season so far!

I love this angle. Somebody want to make some $$? Start selling "Pinkle Pickles" in front of Arrowhead on Saturday.

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

Players got two suspension for same infraction. Coach gets one. Seems fair to me.

Eric Bernauer 10 years, 8 months ago

A Pickled Pinkel or a sober Gill. Who would rather have on your sideline this Saturday?

sorry, I couldn't resist.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 10 years, 8 months ago

I'd take Pinkel on any combination of drugs over Gill.

Oldsoul 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm like, "Doesn't that name sound vaguely familiar?". Guess so, even for a non-sports fan. Indeed it does recall the gulch I was in before this even gulchier one. Thought there couldn't be anything worse until I discovered Lawrence. For thinking, politically aware people the lower Midwest leaves a lot to be desired.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 8 months ago

I have a story............I was traveling back to my hometown last Friday and I needed to stop in St. Louis to get food and gas. I also got this idea as I crossed the State of Missouri down I-70 to rub their latest Pinkel scandal in their faces a little. Yes, this was very childish, but after my long drive, I was getting tired and I needed some excitement to get me through my final 4 hours of my drive.

I got some window paint from the local Walgreens and wrote on my back window, "Driving Gary Pinkel Home.....Muck Fizzo"! Let's just say that I was definitely bright eyed and bushy tailed as I drove through Columbia! The foreign relation communications I exhibited was definitely worth it!

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

Great contribution. I only wish I could be there Saturday. Don't wash that car!

Kc Ticketguy 10 years, 8 months ago

Was Gary Pinkle Drunk? Here is the video and an explanation of the tests officers use to determine if people are drunk or not. You be the judge.

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

"I'm not sure if I could do that sober"

Quote of the year.

What a moron cop though. If had he waved his finger any longer Pickle should've punched him in the face and drove off. I wanted to. I don't know who was more nervous that the Tiger's coach was about to get a DWI, the coach or the cop.

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

If Micah could just edit this into next week's Gridiron I would be most grateful.

Favorite parts:

Cop: "It's a little chilly out here so I understand" Pickle: "No it's not chilly, I'm nervous" Cop: "Well, it's a little chilly"

Pickle: "EFGHR" Cop: "Okay" Pickle: "Did I pass that test right there?" Cop: "Well, there are other letters between H and R". Pickle: "What?" Cop: "Other letters between H and R". Pickle: "Let's see. A.B.C.D.E.F.G.H.R..."

Cop: "Can you start with the letter, er, number 73 and end at 62?" Pickle: "Backwards?" Cop: "Backwards." Pickle: "Are you kidding me" (Mr. Masters Degree) "I can't do that normally".

Freeze frame: 12:47 mark. Pickle looking directly into camera with cuffs on.

By the way, it doesn't end there.

13:08 mark of this extended video. Pickle stomps the floor of the cruiser like a 4 year old and curses something to himself.

Oh it's cold and dark in there isn't it Pickle?

Seriously, how much fun is it to ride to the station in the back seat with Pickle in hand cuffs? I'm bookmarking this.

kupride4u 10 years, 8 months ago

Officer: "I want you to recite the alphabet from E to R"

Pinkel: "E F G H R"


Kent Kossoy 10 years, 8 months ago

I am from Missouri unfortunately. That is all they know of the alphabet. LOLOL!!!!!

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if the Misuse athletic department will be as contrite a few years into getting blasted regularly by SEC teams.

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure if that post made sense. I mean I wonder if they'll be contrite about their decision to abandon the Big XII.

okiedave 10 years, 8 months ago

Guaranteed. Mississippians are estatic. No longer will they be the most embarrassing state for the the SEC.

okiedave 10 years, 8 months ago

So what have we learned? Pinkel is not bright enough to count backwards from 73 to 62 when sober and he is not needed in order for MU to win football games.. Missou is wasting their tax dollars on an overpaid football coach.

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