Posted by Chip Patterson
Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving Wednesday night, according to local authorities.
Records show that Boone County sheriff deputies pulled Pinkel over for lane and signal violations around 10 p.m., the sheriff's department reportedly said the Tigers' head coach was cooperative with authorities. This incident was Pinkel's first offense, and he was released after posting a $500 bond.
“Last night after practice, I met some friends for dinner," Pinkel explained in a prepared 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.”
“We are extremely disappointed in Gary’s lack of judgment. He is known as a man of great character and integrity," athletic director Mike Alden added. "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.”
Missouri faces Texas Tech on Saturday in Columbia, with hopes of building on their 17-5 against Texas last week. The Tigers haven't won back-to-back games all season, but have the chance to finish strong with Texas Tech and Kansas left on the schedule.
A win over the Red Raiders would pull Missouri to 4-4 in the conference and make them bowl eligible. The challenge for Pinkel to lead Missouri to the postseason will require overcoming this off-field distraction, as well as the loss of leading rusher Henry Josey (knee) for the rest of the season.
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