Pinkel charged, offers apology letter

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 Friday and pleaded guilty. He was arrested in Columbia Wednesday night and suspended without pay the next day for the final home game of the season.

Pinkel will likely receive a 30-day suspended sentence and two years of unsupervised probation, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 13.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch acquired the probable cause statement from police.

Pinkel was pulled over Wednesday night after making a wide right turn from a left turn lane and later nearly striking a curb.

The report from Robert Paul of the Boone County Sheriff's Dept. said Pinkel had "glassy" and "bloodshot" eyes and a "strong odor of intoxicants."

Paul wrote that Pinkel said he had two glasses of wine in a 90-minute period. During field sobriety tests, Paul wrote that he "observed indications of impairment."

Pinkel declined to provide a blood sample but complied with a request to be transported to Boone County Hospital "for a blood draw due to exigent circumstances."

On Friday, Pinkel provided a letter to Missouri fans. Here it is in its entirety:

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.


Gary R. Pinkel

Head Football Coach