Because Missouri is joining our conference next year and its head-coaching situation is therefore of interest to the rest of us, we might as well start following their news with this one: Gary Pinkel was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. You can remove the suspicion, as Pinkel pretty much confirmed that he was driving drunk in a statement issued today.
First and foremost, I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance. Nobody should drink and drive, including me. ... I accept full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate.
What action will that leadership deem appropriate? The jury is apparently still out on that one, though we could know at a press conference at 5 p.m. ET today called to address the issue. Athletics Director Mike Alden:
However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities. We hold ourselves to very high standards, and this is a very serious breach of those responsibilities. We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly.
Despite a so-so season for the Tigers this year, it's hard to see Pinkel getting shown the door over the incident. (Whether he should or not is a matter of perspective; some will say drunk driving is a serious enough crime to warrant the school at least considering it, while others will say give the guy another chance regardless of his record.) Pinkel has been wildly successful in relation to Missouri's history, and that will likely play into the decision that the higher-ups make -- whether it should or not.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m. ET: Pinkel will not coach Missouri this Saturday and likely not in the regular-season finale, according to a report in the Columbia Daily Tribune. That would mirror a penalty handed down to Missouri players arrested for drunk driving, the paper said.
UPDATE 2 8:15 p.m. ET: Pinkel will only be suspended for one week but will face penalties that could amount to more than $300,000.