Missouri (6-5) attained bowl-eligible status with its 31-27 win against Texas Tech (5-6) on Saturday, but coach Gary Pinkel's arrest and subsequent guilty plea for DWI stole the headlines in preparation for the game.
Athletics Director Mike Alden announced Thursday afternoon that Pinkel would be suspended for one week, missing the Texas Tech game and the send-off for Tiger seniors on Senior Day. Defensive Coordinator Dave Steckel took on the role of acting head coach Saturday.
According to Sports Illustrated, beyond his one-week suspension, Pinkel will forfeit key incentives, including his bowl bonus, and donate a portion of his salary to the MU Wellness Resource Center. His salary will also be frozen for one year.
“There’s no question we’re extremely disappointed in Gary’s lack of judgment,” Alden said at a press conference Thursday. “This absolutely goes against everything we stand for and everything he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities.”
Pinkel wrote an open letter to Tiger Nation apologizing for his actions.
The Tigers completed a tough week emotionally with a hard-fought and down-to-the-wire victory against Texas Tech.
The team trailed 27-17 entering the fourth quarter. Missouri quarterback James Franklin was 6-for-7 passing for 85 yards in the final quarter. With two minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the game, Franklin scored a rushing touchdown to give the Tigers a 31-27 lead.
According to ESPN's Big 12 football blog, the Red Raiders were marching down the field in position to score when Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege's pass was tipped up in the air by defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton and then intercepted by fellow lineman Michael Sam.
Next up: Kansas
Missouri finishes its season against border rival Kansas (2-9) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Pinkel will resume his head-coaching duties after his suspension.
Kansas is coming off a 61-7 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. The Jayhawks have yet to win a conference game this season.
With Missouri entering the Southeastern Conference next season, according to The Kansas City Star, the continuation of this annual football game is in question. Missouri has a 56-54-9 all-time record against Kansas.