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Missouri's Pinkel pleads guilty to DWI

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, at 12:05 a.m.

COLUMBIA, Mo. —Suspended Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel on Friday morning entered a guilty plea to a Class B misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated and was given a 30-day suspended sentence — meaning he will serve no jail time — and pay no fine.

Pinkel was placed on probation for two years. Any similar incident in that period would result in him having to serve the jail time.

Bogdan Susan, an attorney representing Pinkel in Boone County Circuit Court, said the sentence was "the same as any other member of the community facing the same charge.

"The resolution of coach Pinkel's case is consistent with the remorse he has already acknowledged, and his desire to take full responsibility for his actions."

That will include, ultimately, Pinkel hearing public reaction to some embarrassing details contained in the Boone County Sheriff's Department's offense report of his arrest around 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday near Boone County National Bank at 205 S. Keene Street in Columbia.

According to the report, Pinkel, when asked to undergo a field sobriety test for balance, stated: "I'm not sure if I was sober I could do that."

When asked to recite the alphabet starting with the letter "E", Pinkel said "E-F-G-H-R," according to the report. Pinkel, then starting with the letter "A", said "A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-R."

Further, the report stated, Pinkel said he had consumed two glasses of red wine between 8 and 9:30 p.m. and was asked how big the servings were. He replied, "Jumbo."

Within an hour after the sentencing agreement was announced, at 11:30 a.m., Missouri posted on its athletic website an open letter to MU fans written by Pinkel in which he apologized for his actions.

On Thursday, Pinkel was suspended for one week by Missouri athletic director Mike Alden, who announced numerous financial penalties that could cost Pinkel in excess of $306,000 in withheld s alary and incentives.

Pinkel will not coach Missouri today against Texas Tech in the Tigers' final home game. He can have no contact with the MU football program until Thursday morning, when he will be reinstated.

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