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Published: 11/18/2011

Missouri suspends Pinkel

Ex-UT coach to lose $306,000 over DWI charge

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri suspended football coach Gary Pinkel without pay for the final home game of the season Thursday and froze his salary for a year following his overnight arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.

Athletic director Mike Alden said the former University of Toledo coach will miss Saturday's game against Texas Tech and will donate a week's worth of his base salary and guaranteed incentives -- approximately $41,000 -- to a campus alcohol-awareness program when he returns.

The disciplinary measures include a total of approximately $306,000 in penalties and 50 hours of community service by next summer. If Missouri (5-5) makes it to a bowl game, Pinkel won't get the $75,000 bonus his contract stipulates. He forfeits a $100,000 annual payment for meeting certain team academic and social goals. And he loses an automatic $50,000 raise at the end of the year.

"Gary is someone with tremendous character and integrity," Alden said. "He's built something pretty special here at Mizzou over the course of the last 11years. We do not want one incident certainly to tear down what's taken place. However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for and everything that he teaches his players in regard to their social responsibilities."

Boone County Sheriff's Office records show that deputies pulled Pinkel over in Columbia, Mo., and jailed him Wednesday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was released from the county jail after posting a $500 bond.

The sheriff's department said the incident is Pinkel's first offense. The prosecutor's office has up to one year to file charges. Since the case is part of an active investigation, the sheriff's department declined to release additional information, including any preliminary test results of the coach's blood-alcohol content.

Pinkel issued two written statements Thursday. In the first, Pinkel said he "accept[s] full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate."

In the second statement, Pinkel said, "I recognize that I've let everyone down and fully accept the terms of this suspension." The coach, who did not attend Alden's news conference, said he was stopped by deputies after a dinner with friends.

"Everyone is held accountable in our program for their actions, and I'm no different," he said.

Pinkel is 82-54 overall in his 11th season with the Tigers, including three 10-win seasons in the last four years and six consecutive bowl game appearances. After Texas Tech, Missouri faces Kansas next week at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in what is likely the school's final Big 12 Conference game before it moves to the Southeastern Conference.

Pinkel said he has apologized to his players.



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