Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was already disappointed in the recent actions of those inside his program, which has seen three DWI arrests and a scandal involving starting running back Derrick Washington stemming from an incident in June.
That was even before a report surfaced Monday that Washington had been officially charged with sexual assault, a class C felony. Athletic department policy states that no athlete charged with a felony can participate in competition until the case is resolved. That could mean Missouri will be without Washington, one of the team's captains and representatives at Big 12 media days in July, for an extended period of time.
"I'm kind of embarrassed. We've worked real hard to develop a program that has a very good reputation for being first-class and disciplined," Pinkel said. "We've taken a few hits. And the only way you're going to get that back is to earn it back, and that's what we intend to do."
Washington's issue looks like it may linger over the program for at least several weeks, and over the weekend, long-snapper and reserve tight end Beau Brinkley became the third Tiger to be arrested on suspicion of DWI.
Linebacker Will Ebner was arrested on Aug. 22 and co-offensive line coach Bruce Walker was arrested on Aug. 2. Walker was arrested by university police in the parking lot of the football facility, and was not driving. He had called a taxi after a team outing, but was behind the wheel of his truck.
Pinkel said on Monday the guidelines and policies he's had in place for the first nine seasons of his tenure at Missouri will not change in light of the recent string of incidents.
"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 said.
Final decisions had not been made on suspended players, Pinkel said. But barring a sudden drop of charges, Kendial Lawrence and De'Vion Moore will likely be forced to start at running back in Washington's absence in the season opener on Saturday against Illinois.
Elsewhere at Missouri, receiver Jerrell Jackson was expected to miss at least two games to begin the season with a broken bone in his wrist, but was listed as one of Missouri's starters at receiver on the Week 1 depth chart.