MU Bans Pinkel from Sideline After DWI Arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel will be not be on the sideline this weekend after he was arrested and released Wednesday night after he was pulled over for a DWI.

On Thursday, MU Athletic Director Mike Alden announced Pinkel will be suspended for one week without pay, effective immediately. Pinkel will not be allowed to attend practice or attend meetings and will not be on the sideline on Saturday when the Tigers take on Texas Tech in Columbia.

Defensive coordinator Dave Steckel will be acting head coach for the game.

Alden said that Pinkel will be allowed to return to the team on Thanksgiving, and will be allowed to coach against Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium on November 26, but his week's salary will be donated to the MU Wellness Center, which helps with alcohol awareness.

Pinkel's salary will also be frozen for one year, will lose out on any bonus if the team makes a bowl game, and will have to serve 50 hours of community service. A letter of reprimand will also be placed in his personal file.

According to reports, Pinkel stands to lose around $300,000 in financial penalties.

According to the police report, Pinkel was stopped on Keene St. north of Broadway in Columbia for lane and signal violations. Pinkel's blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest is not known.

In a statement released by Pinkel, he explained he had dinner with friends after practice and was stopped by police.

"First and foremost, I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance," Pinkel said in the statement. "Nobody should drink and drive, including me."

Police said this is Pinkel's first offense. He posted $500 bond and was released.

MU's Director of Athletics Mike Alden also released a statement Thursday morning, expressing his disappointment in Pinkel's actions.

"However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities," Alden's statement said. "We hold ourselves to very high standards, and this is a very serious breach of those responsibilities."

Full statement from Gary Pinkel:

"Last night after practice, I met some friends for dinner. 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."

Statement from AD Mike Alden:

"We are extremely disappointed in Gary's lack of judgment. 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."

Statement from MU Chancellor Brady Deaton:

"I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about Coach Pinkel. Coaches must hold themselves to the very highest of standards. His lack of judgment is especially concerning since he serves as a role model for our students. I expect Mike Alden to take appropriate action and he has my support in doing so. I also expect and believe that Coach Pinkel will accept full responsibility for his actions and will act in accordance with the standards he expects from his players."

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