LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pinkel is part of the 1 percent problem

Monday, November 21, 2011 | 6:00 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Play the System 101 with Missouri Football Coach Gary Pinkel:
  • First, decline standard field sobriety test citing default injury.
  • Second, decline blood test thus extending time for metabolism of alcohol.
  • Third, legal loop out of blood-alcohol results being made public.

This is part of what the 99 percent is talking about.

MU is having trouble hiring custodians at $18,000 annual salary because of stains on applicants' background records; dedicated employees at $22,000 to $30,000 per year are in fear a mistake would cost them their jobs, yet with an annual salary of almost $3 million, the Pinkel percent — I mean the top percent — is untouchable.

If one could measure the so called "lack of judgment" exhibited by Pinkel and compare it to equivalent cases, we would find fatal accidents, imprisoned persons of lesser means and shattered lives left in the wake.

For our preeminent educational institution to ignore the consequences of this learning opportunity for countless youth and to not immediately fire one whose pay scale demands much more, leaves not only our community but our entire state in shame.

The learning opportunity here, kids: Screw the rules, the moral codes, the ethics and responsibility to our greater society, and if you're lucky enough to be in the ruling class, just learn how to play the system and damned be our collective souls as long as we are having fun, right?

Christine Doerr lives in Columbia.

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frank christian November 21, 2011 | 9:25 a.m.

Christine - The problem is with the liberals in the protesting "99%". The world knows Pinkel was arrested for "driving while impaired" and because he now has this conviction posted as a reprimand in his U of Mo. file, anyone who ever wants to hire him, will know of it. Mr. Alden, Pinkel's boss has verbally, publically, assured Pinkel, a future repeat will most likely cost him his job.

Find another instance to press your socialist views, i.e. "Screw the rules, the moral codes, the ethics and responsibility to our greater society, and if you're lucky enough to be in the ruling class, just learn how to play the system and damned be our collective souls as long as we are having fun, right?" IMO, despicable!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 21, 2011 | 10:01 a.m.

If Pinkel is perceived to be a problem, there's a simple but not easy solution: nobody, other than a few fat cats with their posh seating (more of your 1%), shows up for Mizzou games. I venture that only a few games into the season not only would Pinkel be toast but so would Alden and maybe even Deaton.

We could only wish the solution to America's REAL problems were so easy. :)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 21, 2011 | 10:09 a.m.

Your, "legal loop out" (is that some new trick where you were heading for a loophole, but you switch to fakey and bail out?) was actually him taking responsibility for what he did and pleading guilty before taking up any more time and money on the part of investigators and prosecutors. I am absolutely convinced that you would much rather have spent someone else's money to go through the whole process so you could find out all the juicy things you could whine about, but that doesn't make it right...

If you're looking for teachable moments, there are plenty of good ones here. You just are't looking through the right colored glasses...

(Report Comment)
LB Jenkins November 21, 2011 | 10:54 a.m.

Sorry Christine, take your liberal whining elsewhere. Others have already pointed out your flawed attempt at relating this to OWS, but I will add another point. You are overlooking basic supply and demand. Yes, janitors and other rank and file personnel at MU can lose their jobs quite easily - because they are easily replaceable. In terms of qualifications, there are many, many people that fit those jobs. Being an even halfway decent college football coach, on the other hand, is a rarer skill among the masses. When also considering the fact that an even halfway decent football team brings in massive revenue, then it is not hard to understand why Pinkel makes so much while janitors make so little. Again, basic economics. In all seriousness, this is taught on day one in Econ 101 (usually called the "diamond-water paradox"). I know basic economics is like a foreign language to liberals, who think the only way a janitor can make so little and a football coach make so much because there is "evil" at play, but really, it just the way the world works.

(Report Comment)
James Krewson November 21, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

Pinkel is losing 10% of his salary and bonuses. That is a HUGE punishment for what he did. To equate Pinkel's job to that of a janitor is ridiculous. The news media, and practically everyone has a microscope into the life of Gary Pinkel. His transgressions are fully exposed to everyone nationwide. The janitor, on the other hand, fills out an application, with the employer having no idea what his background is, or basically who he is. Imagine if the janitor had to lose 10% of his salary and be exposed nationwide for his mistakes? Nice attempt by the letter writer; however, the comparison is faulty and simply doesn't make sense to me.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis November 21, 2011 | 12:02 p.m.

I have a couple of friends who work as custodians at the university (and they are now called custodians not janitors) and they both have d.w.i.'s on their record. As long as the custodians at the university are not driving company vehicles it in no way affects their employment. One of my friends working there got hers during her employment and her job was not affected in any way. I think this is crazy. If you have ever a anything to drink and gotten behind the wheel of a car or even had a speeding ticket you are a hypocrite for saying anything about him. Speed limits are placed for a reason (the safety of the roadway) and if you have broken that law you also have endangered the lives of others so I just think we should think about our glass houses before throwing stones.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 21, 2011 | 12:19 p.m.

Anyone who reads the Trib or Missourian on a regular basis knows that there are plenty of thugs, criminals and other low-lifes who know how to play the system: "What's this 19 year old doing on the streets when he's got five felony convictions?"

(Report Comment)
Brueno Gehard November 21, 2011 | 12:31 p.m.

There is nothing more important to an institution of higher education than somebody who coaches people who play football.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis November 21, 2011 | 1:11 p.m.

imprisoned persons of lesser means and shattered lives left in the wake.
The usual punishment for this offence for EVERY FIRST TIME OFFENDER is the same as was handed out in this case only the other 99% DO NOT get fined 10% of their pay! Also as far as the youth following in his foot steps the youth you speak of are eighteen years of age and should by that time know right from wrong, and are not as venerable as you think!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 21, 2011 | 2:02 p.m.

So, nothing is more important than the football coach? Whether you mean that sarcastically or not, I disagree, and so would University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a long list of other universities, colleges and technical institutes. That list includes the students, faculty and alumni of at least one campus of our excuse for a "university system."

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm November 21, 2011 | 2:57 p.m.

@ LB Jenkins

I don't have a dog in this fight but I wanted to point out one thing from your post that I see as a very common misconception among people. You said:

"When also considering the fact that an even halfway decent football team brings in massive revenue"

I hope you really meant revenue and not profit (not that it really matters). The last year that full data was available was 2009 in which only 56% of football programs turned a profit. Missouri was one of those schools in 2009 but more often than not it is in the half that loses money and over the long haul the Mizzou football program has been a financial negative for the UM System to the tune of millions of dollars. It is a myth that Universities make money off athletics. Moreover, schools like Mizzou have severe institutional subsidies for their football programs that help keep a lot of their expenses on another departments income statements. If these football programs had to foot their actual expenses I doubt more than 3 or 4 schools would make money on football.

BTW, if you look at athletics as a whole; only 11.6% of all D1 schools turned a profit in 2009 on their athletic departments.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble November 21, 2011 | 3:18 p.m.

It is interesting to me that all of the comments here that are mean-spirited, personal, and which take ugly swipes at entire swaths of people are from those who criticize liberal beliefs.

(Report Comment)
Mitchell Moore November 21, 2011 | 3:30 p.m.

Two points I'd like to make. First, "extending time for metabolism of alcohol" by delaying the test will cause a higher blood alcohol content reading if Pinkel quit drinking shortly before he left the restaurant. If Pinkel still had wine in his stomach when he was stopped, then it would take the better part of an hour for the alcohol in that wine to be absorbed into his bloodstream. The relevant blood alcohol content is that which a driver has at the moment they are stopped. Therefore, delaying the breath or blood test may actually produce a higher BAC level than if the test could be conducted on the spot.

Second, Forbes Magazine reported that in 2008 the top 20 revenue producing athletic departments earned an average profit of $35 million which goes into the school's general revenue fund. Texas earned a profit that year of $59 million.

Missouri's athletic department has always lived within its means and at least broken even. And even if it lost money, which it does not, the benefit to the university and community as a whole is easily apparent. Like it or not, many students want to attend college at a school with a winning athletic program. For decades, MU was stuck at around 24,000 students. In the past dozen years since the football program has gotten better the size of the student body has grown to more than 33,000. Who at the University is complaining about having these additional students?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 21, 2011 | 7:01 p.m.

MitchellMoore states, "First, "extending time for metabolism of alcohol" by delaying the test will cause a higher blood alcohol content reading if Pinkel quit drinking shortly before he left the restaurant."

Exactly correct. I've been humored by those who think delaying the test causes the BAC to go down. If a person quits drinking 2 hours before a traffic stop, this is true. Tell me, tho...who quits drinking 2 hours before going home? Not many.

So, all the while you are delaying the test, you are getting MORE DRUNK!

It's a metabolism and absorption thingie.

Y'all might wanna rethink your strategy.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller November 21, 2011 | 7:33 p.m.

Mr Gamble,
Did it occur to you that the so-called "mean spirited and personal" remarks were triggered by a mean spirited, personal and judgmental attack on Coach Pinkel? Are those espousing "liberal beliefs" above criticism or taking responsibility for their comments?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 21, 2011 | 11:00 p.m.

Karl, we need to remember that liberals have more refined sensibilities than heartless, soulless Neanderthal conservative types do.

To alter some words from a popular 1970s novel and film, "Being liberal means you never have to say you're sorry."

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller November 22, 2011 | 8:18 p.m.

Sorry Ellis, in my evil right wing intent to promote fair play, I forgot that those who "care more" are guaranteed a higher moral plane than mere conservatives.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush November 22, 2011 | 9:35 p.m.

Mocking liberals
Is fun, particularly
When I'm so forlorn.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 22, 2011 | 11:20 p.m.

Sure, I've used the term "Greedy XYZ" from time to time. But the childish name-calling from those afraid of the Occupy movement is so pervasive, they even have to call *themselves* names on behalf of liberals.

I guess they think that helps make their case? It's called projection.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 22, 2011 | 11:23 p.m.

No problem, Karl.

Old Georgia Tech proverb:

To err is human,
But to really foul things up
Requires employing a computer.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson November 22, 2011 | 11:59 p.m.

This letter is one of the better parodies of the OWS movement I've seen. I assume that is accidental, on the part of the author, however. Good show, all the same.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 23, 2011 | 7:30 a.m.

"the childish name-calling from those afraid of the Occupy movement"

Like those who delight in calling the Tea Party folks tea baggers.

(Report Comment)

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