Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/19/14

It’s been a scandal-filled 2011 college football calendar year, one that seemingly just will not come to an end. What started with potential major violations at Ohio State, Oregon and Miami and evolved into potentially one of the biggest news stories of the last decade at Penn State, took another twist Wednesday night, when a major college football coach- one known for his “integrity”- was arrested and charged with a DWI.

That coach was Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, who was arrested at 10 p.m. local time on a DWI charge, and was later released on bond.

This from Missouri NBC affiliate KOMU.com:

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 has confirmed Boone County sheriff deputies arrested MU football coach Gary Pinkel Wednesday night for DWI. Pinkel posted a $500 bond and was released from the Boone County Jail.

Deputies pulled Pinkel over for lane and signal violations on Keene Street near Broadway around 10 p.m. The sheriff's department said this is Pinkel's first offense, and deputies said he was cooperative.

Chief Deputy Tom Reddin said Pinkel's name did not appear on the Boone County Sheriff's Department 0700 report due.

It truly wouldn’t be a day in college football without someone doing something stupid, huh?

Again, the sport has spent the better part of 2011 rocked by just about every major on and off the field allegation you could imagine. There was Jim Tressel’s cover-up of a free tattoo ring at Ohio State. Oregon dealing with a questionable talent evaluator from Texas. Nevin Shapiro becoming a house-hold name for funding the Miami football program on the front end and back. Hell, how can it not be a bad year when this isn’t even the first major coach to get hit with a drunken infraction? That title belongs to South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus who was arrested for public urination earlier this year.

What’ll be interesting though is to see how the Missouri administration handles Pinkel.

When it comes to a player getting arrested while driving under the influence, it seems as though a suspension is in order for at least a game or two. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap missed the SEC Championship Game two years ago after being arrested for a DUI. Georgia’s Cornelius Washington was hit with a two-game suspension for the same offense. And as the Sporting News’ Matt Hayes pointed out, when two Missouri players (Beau Brinkley and Will Ebner) were hit with DUI’s last year, they were each suspended for two games.

Which begs the question: from strictly a football standpoint, can Missouri survive the next game or two without their head coach? At 5-5, the Tigers are sitting on the plumb edge of bowl eligibility, with two seemingly winnable games ahead of them. They play Texas Tech Saturday, which is 0-3 since their win over Oklahoma, and get Kansas a week from now, a club which could possibly be the worst team in a BCS AQ conference this season. A 7-5 finish was expected, but without Pinkel on the sidelines, a 5-7 end wouldn’t be surprising either.

Finally, there is one huge irony in the arrest.

Pinkel has been seen as one of the “good guys” in the profession, someone who ran a clean program, graduated players and just did things the “right way.” As a matter of fact, when Pinkel signed a contract extension last spring, Pinkel was praised by Athletics Director Mike Alden for exactly that.

“Gary and his staff do things the right way. Their integrity is a shining example of how we want Athletics to reflect positively on the University of Missouri.”

Just another day in college football, huh?

Follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.


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