KANSAS CITY, Mo. - University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel's arrest was the topic of choice among sports fans on Thursday, and for some, Pinkel's football record is now overshadowed by his driving record.
Arrests related to alcohol at MU didn't start with Pinkel. In August of 2010 two players and a co-offensive line coach were arrested for intoxication. A year before that Pinkel kicked freshman quarterback Blaine Dalton off the team for getting a DWI.
In August of 2010 Coach Pinkel told ESPN's Big 12 Blog, "We've built our program with discipline as we do, and we're going to continue to do what we do. It's worked over the years, and we're not going to change,"
Pinkel's arrest comes as a surprise because of that history of disciplining players for the same crime.
"He's been really responsible in the past. I've seen his wife pick him up from different events, he has always been on point when it comes to that," said former MU star running back Tony Temple.
Still, fans like Scott Levinson hope Pinkel can come back from this embarrassing arrest.
"It's kind of discouraging to hear whether it is a Mizzou coach, KU, or KState or anybody getting arrested for a DUI in this day and age," said Levinson.
"Bottomline, he is still a coach, but he is still pays his taxes. He's a human being, he is a father, he's a husband and I think he made a mistake, he made a bad decision. So I don't think that is going to kill his career," said MU fan Andre Davis.
Fans are sounding off on the FOX 4 Facebook page. Roy Sams Jr. posted, "He is a grown man and pays for his mistakes, most of his players aren't even old enough to purchase alcohol, he still has my vote for coach even though he made a mistake."
But Chris Hawkins posted, "I'm sure the guy who killed my stepbrother in a DWI accident also thought it was just a mistake."
In his own statement, Pinkel apologized to the University and fans, saying that he stands by his own discipline policy which he has used many times in the past two years.