Pinkel pleads guilty to DWI; sobriety test video released
Originally published November 18, 2011 at 12:31 p.m., updated November 18, 2011 at 9:04 p.m.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Suspended Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving.
Boone County court records show that Pinkel was charged on Friday and pleaded guilty the same day. He was arrested in Columbia on Wednesday night and suspended without pay the next day for the final home game of the season.
Pinkel received a 30-day suspended sentence and two years of unsupervised probation, according to court records.
Pinkel will not coach Saturday’s game against Texas Tech but can return for the final regular season game against Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
He’ll also lose $306,000 in penalties should Missouri (5-5) earn a bowl game bid and more than $230,000 if they do not.
According to the probable cause documents, Pinkel was driving 30 miles-per-hour in a 65 miles-per-hour-zone Wednesday night. The vehicle crossed a double yellow line when it made a left turn several feet before the intersection. Then, the vehicle almost struck a crub when going into a parking lot.
Pinkel also released an apology letter to the Tiger Nation.
I reach out to you with a sense of great personal disappointment and regret over the decisions I made this past Wednesday night. We've known each other for a long time and I've worked hard to represent you and the University of Missouri, a place we all love, with the highest standards of integrity. I put myself in a situation that was absolutely counter to those standards and it pains me to know that I let you all down. We've built a family here at Mizzou, and it's built on trust.
On Wednesday night I betrayed that trust.
Social responsibility and discipline are two things I constantly emphasize to our team. My lack of both in this instance will hopefully prove to be a teachable moment and serve as an example to others of what not to do. I've stressed to my players that there are consequences to your actions and I face stiff consequences for what I've done.
It will be the most difficult day of my professional life to not be with my team this Saturday. My heart goes out to this group of seniors who will be playing their final home game at The Zou. They've accomplished so much and I'm very proud of them. Don't let my mistake shed a negative light on the many outstanding ways all of our players represent Mizzou.
I realize it's not as simple as saying sorry and moving on. I expect to be held accountable. I embrace the challenge of building back the trust of Tiger fans everywhere.
It's a great honor to be your coach.