Gary Pinkel Suspended One Week Without Pay, Salary Frozen For Year

Brian Graham, KC SportsNation

4:15 pm: After a Wednesday evening DWI arrest, football coach Gary Pinkel will be suspended from the program for one week without pay, Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden announced in a video.

Pinkel’s salary will be donated to the campus’ Wellness Resource Center. Alden also said Pinkel’s contract will be frozen for one year, which isn’t much of a punishment as he makes $2.7 million in base pay, plus bonuses, forfeit a $75,000 bowl bonus and a $100,000 social responsibility clause, a total economic penalty of $306,538.

Pinkel will be away from the team until next Thursday and defensive coordinator Dave Steckel will act as interim coach. He’ll miss this Saturday’s Senior Day “Blackout Game” game against Texas Tech, but will be back for the Border War game versus KU Thanksgiving weekend at Arrowhead. And he’ll receive a formal letter of reprimand for his permanent record and if anything like this happens again, there could be consequences, including termination. He’ll also write a letter of apology and perform 50 hours of community service.

Pinkel had input on his apology, and I think that speaks volumes about how valued and powerful Pinkel is at the University of Mizzou.

And for those who think the players will think there is a double standard for a coach getting suspended for one game while the players typical suspension is two games are foolish. Coaches and players are different. I don’t think the players will care. Its kinda like the “do what I say, not what I do.”

Good, its done. Time to drop it. Alden getting “bashed” for the light sentence, dont underestimate the punishment of not being with your seniors on Senior Day.

1:18 pm: Early indications are Pinkel will serve a 1-game suspension, missing Senior Day, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Texas Tech, and maybe a second-game against Kansas, his last Big 12 game against the Jayhawks. Am I the only one who wouldn’t care if he wasn’t suspended?

The Boone County prosecuting attorney’s office says Pinkel’s DWI charge could be filed this afternoon…

Stay tuned…

***

According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel was arrested for “suspicion of drunk driving” last night at 10:15. He was stopped for signal and lane violations.

So, who really cares? I don’t. I know there are several fans who are in complete meltdown mode. My question is why?

Some things to think about…

1) He won’t get fired. A 0% chance. In fact, there is a precedence at Mizzou.

In October 1987, then-head coach Woody Widenhofer was arrested (and later convicted) of drunk driving following a homecoming win over Kansas State; he survived the rest of that season and one more.

2) He may not even get suspended. Players get suspended, usually for at least one game, so will Pinkel get suspended for a game? If so, he would miss Senior Day. Some fans think he should be suspended for the rest of the year. Don’t overreact.

3) DUI’s are overrated. Tons of people have them. It’s not even a big deal to have one anymore. Yeah, so sometimes people run head on into another car. Yeah, that sucks. People also do that while texting, talking on the phone or putting on make-up and driving.

4) Personally, I don’t even care. Apparently, “suspicion of drunk driving” means he could have said he had been drinking and that was enough for the officer. I know plenty of women who have signal and lane violations when they are stone cold sober do that on a daily basis and are perfectly sober…Was Pinkel wrong? Absolutely. You shouldn’t drink and drive, but I dont think its a big deal. Many are overreacting. I don’t know all the details, but from my understanding, Pinkel did not blow into the breathilizer, or at least its not being reported that he did. It was not reported if he performed a field sobriety test. So is it possible that he admitted to drinking and that was enough for the officer?

5) Regardless, Pinkel put himself in a bad situation. Its possible he won’t even be suspended unless there are formal charges are filed, which hasn’t happened yet, or until there is a conviction.

6) Pinkel was seen at a Murray’s restaurant eating dinner with friend, which he admits to. He was seen leaving and described as “fine.” I find it hard to imagine that Pinkel would get blasted in public in front of several people that will recognize him. I will say it again, there is a chance he wasn’t even over the legal limit. Lets wait until we know all the details before we crucify him.

7) There is a 4 p.m. presser for Pinkel to meet with the media. Maybe we will know more details then. We will see. I may get burned for my opinions, but my opinions are my opinions. Your opinion is never wrong…

8) And lets face the facts. Should anyone be above the law? No, but they are. But tell me, if Bill Snyder or Bob Stoops gets pulled over are they getting a DUI? Hell no they don’t. Again, bot saying it is right, but is the way it is. Mizzou is in the SEC now, right? Football coaches in the SEC don’t get arrested. They get drove home by the officer. But Boone County, especially Columbia is notorious for their alcohol-related arrest.

9) I wouldn’t be surprised if charges are not even filed. Time will tell. But he is the face of the program, so this looks very bad. Likely worse than it is.

“Last night after practice, I met some friends for dinner,” Pinkel said in the statement. “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.”

Mike Alden issued the following statement: “We are extremely disappointed in Gary’s lack of judgment,” Alden said in his statement. “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.”

“I am disappointed, but ooking for Pinkel to handle it accordingly and move forward,” Chancellor Brady Deaton said.

Some other stories on coaches that have been arrested, etc:

Frank Solich kept his job at Ohio

UT baseball coach Augie Garrido suspended indefinitely

Western Kentucky DC still coaching after DWI

Billy Gillispie has had three, got a new job this year

Richmond coach resigned after getting one in August–HOWEVER, it was his second in less than ten years

In 2004, Bob Huggins suspended indefinitely for DUI, plead no contest

Hofstra hoops coach Tim Welsh suspended indefinitely without pay, later resigns, after blowing .18

Story on players, coaches who have had severe consequences

 

And Toy LaRussa got a DWI with a pretty hilarious dashboard cam drunkenness video and won a World Series, so…

And wasn’t Eddie Sutton the poster child of drinking and driving? If Pinkel gets fired, or even suspended indefinitely over this, its, well, a joke.

Stay tuned…

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