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November 17, 2011

Alden explains Pinkel suspension


At about 6:45 on Thursday morning, Mike Alden checked his voicemail and heard a message he had never expected. Gary Pinkel informed Alden he had been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Wednesday night.

Pinkel was arrested at about 10:15 on Wednesday night. By 4 p.m. on Thursday, he had an unscheduled week off. Alden announced that Mizzou had suspended Pinkel for one week without pay in wake of the arrest.

"We hold ourselves to very high standards at the University of Missouri and certainly in the athletic program," Alden said. "This is a serious breaking of those responsibilities."

Pinkel addressed the team at about 2:45 according to Alden. After that, his next contact with the program will be Thanksgiving Day. In addition to the forfeited week's salary ($40,769), Pinkel will donate his salary from his first week back on the job to the MU Wellness Resource Center. He will forfeit a $100,000 social behavior incentive, a $75,000 bonus should the Tigers make a bowl game and a $50,000 increase in salary due him at the end of this year.

Alden said he had met with Pinkel three times during the day on Thursday.

"Gary is very remorseful and he accepts full responsibility," Alden said. "He's a tremendous guy and he has great character and he was unbelievable remorseful, as I would expect he would be."

Pinkel's only comment came via official statements from Mizzou.

"I deeply regret the negative attention this has brought to the University of Missouri and I offer my sincere apology to everyone associated with this institution. I recognize that I've let everyone down and I fully accept the terms of this suspension. Everyone is held accountable in our program for their actions and I'm no different. I hope that our fans will be supportive of our team during this time; they will need their encouragement."

Alden stressed that Pinkel's arrest was "an isolated incident" that Missouri expected would not be repeated. Pinkel will have a reprimand placed in his personnel file and if similar situations should arise in the future there will be "punishment up to and including termination."

"We are always on. There's no time that you are ever off the clock. There's no time that you are not held to a higher standard," Alden said. "Mizzou and the University of Missouri and the integrity of us as an institution is more important than anything, than any of us."

In Pinkel's absence, associate head coach and defensive coordinator Dave Steckel will serve as Mizzou's acting head coach against Texas Tech on Saturday. The Tigers and Red Raiders kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Faurot Field.

Pinkel will return in time for the Kansas game. If he has any comments prior to the game, PowerMizzou.com will continue to follow the situation.

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