COLUMBIA — In response to his arrest Wednesday night for driving while intoxicated, MU football coach Gary Pinkel wrote an open letter to Tiger Nation apologizing for his actions.
Pinkel was pulled over by Boone County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday night for lane and signal violations, and he was taken into custody when it appeared that alcohol was involved, a previous Missourian story reported. On Thursday, Pinkel was suspended from coaching for one week, among other consequences.
On Friday morning, Pinkel was charged with a Class B misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to the charges, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cassandra Rogers said.
Here is the letter Pinkel wrote to 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