Gary Pinkel was the head coach while Derrick Washington had multiple alleged infractions.
Washington’s issues came to light after an alleged sexual assault against former Missouri student and tutor Teresa Braeckel, which he was convicted of in 2011. But according to an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation report you can see here, Washington was involved in multiple assaults before that point, and while no charges were filed, the school appears to have neglected its obligation to investigate further.
There was an alleged sexual assault of another female in 2008 in which campus police declined to press charges. Then an incident in 2010 took place in which he hit a women’s soccer player and sent her to the hospital after she was in a fight with his girlfriend, but the soccer player said she was told by her coach she could be in danger of losing her scholarship if she pressed charges, so she declined. You can see that police report here.
When the charges involving Braeckel came up in 2010, Pinkel still only suspended Washington but kept him on scholarship, which would seem fair given the fact that you have to let an investigation run its course. But as he was out on bail for those charges, he was arrested again for beating up his ex-girlfriend.
Now, reaching four years since Washington withdrew from school, we have to ask what Pinkel knew of the infractions before the Braeckel incident? Is it plausible that he would have no knowledge of a fellow coach telling a girl she was in danger of losing her athletic scholarship if she pressed charges against Washington?
Did he know that the University neglected its Title IX obligations to conduct an investigation of its own after the first assault charges were dropped in 2008?
Did Washington’s 1,036 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008 play any role in people looking the other way?
This column is not to condemn Pinkel, yet. He’s shown his willingness to dismiss star players, most recently Dorial Green-Beckham, based on multiple incidents with police, including one where he was investigated for allegedly forcing open an apartment door in an attempt to see his girlfriend.
But it also needs to be pointed out that Green-Beckham’s infractions were all in the public eye, so it would have been much harder to keep him on the team than Washington, whose infractions were able to be swept under the rug until the Braeckel incident.
Also, why did Pinkel decline to comment on the Outside the Lines investigation?
In an age where football players and programs have been protected far too much for incidents of sexual assault, most notably Penn State, we have to question everybody involved with the school who might have known something about what was happening around Washington.
Pinkel was the head coach and had to have some knowledge, but it might not have been enough to take any action. So how much did he know? Somebody needs to ask the question.