Precedents for Missouri sports-related DWI cases

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 1:36 p.m. CST; updated 2:53 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 17, 2011

After Gary Pinkel’s arrest on suspicion of DWI on Wednesday night, The Missourian decided to take a look at precedents for alcohol-related incidents for coaches and players at Missouri.

  • On Aug. 2, 2010, co-offensive line coach Bruce Walker was arrested in the parking lot outside of the Missouri athletics training complex on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Walker was not suspended but received “undisclosed team sanctions,” according to the Associated Press.
  • In late August 2010, linebacker Will Ebner and tight end Beau Brinkley were both arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated within seven days of each other. On Oct. 4, 2010, defensive lineman Jimmy Burge was arrested on suspicion of drinking intoxicant liquors while driving. All received two-game suspensions.
  • According to previous Missourian reports, in August 2009, backup quarterback Blaine Dalton was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, operating an unlicensed motor vehicle and failing to drive within a single lane. Dalton, who had also been arrested earlier in the year on suspicion of drug and traffic violations, was removed from the program.
  • In October 1987, Missouri football coach Woody Widenhofer was arrested on suspicion of DWI after the team’s homecoming win over Kansas State. Widenhofer had a BAC of 0.18, according to a Nov. 5, 1987, article in the Columbia Tribune. Widenhofer pled guilty to the charge but was not suspended for any games by the university. He paid a fine, court costs and completed an alcohol education program.
  • In April 1989, assistant Missouri gymnastics coach John Mosby was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle, which he was on his way to sell. He failed to show up to court on May 1 and was considered "on the lam" until he surrendered on May 6, according to a 1989 Columbia Daily Tribune article. Mosby resigned his position after his arrest and went to jail and rehab.

A 2008 copy of Pinkel's contract includes a termination clause, which lists all of the reasons Missouri could terminate the contract with cause. Reasons listed include "any conduct of the Employee in which would constitute a violation of any criminal statute or an offense of moral turpitude, as determined by the University" and "any behavior of the Employee that brings him into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule or any behavior that is unfavorable to the reputation or moral or ethical standards of the University." Pinkel received a contract extension earlier this year.

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doug stanfield November 17, 2011 | 2:11 p.m.

Ok, alot of us in Missouri have wondered if the football program has done all it can under pinkel, and with a move to the SEC it will be even more important to the program to have a coach who can bring a team up to the level of the competetion. Now we have a DWI by a coach with questionable abilities and the future of our success is uncertain, for these reasons I feel that it is time to replace Gary as head coach and find an available coach who can get the job done. A pretty good coach from Arizona is available, now don't want to see Gary fired He has done some things the right way and has value but not as the Head coach. I bet alot of people will agree.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 17, 2011 | 2:53 p.m.

We could see if Joe Paterno might be available. If your primary purpose is to win football games, it's impossible to argue that Joe hasn't. I don't believe a DWI equates to what has been going on off the football field at State College, Pennsylvania. If Tiger fans want to agonize over something, agonize that you've jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

You know, there ARE people who go to football games and have a good time, win or lose. Are they a dying breed?

(Report Comment)

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