Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden and Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel, met with the media to respond to questions, following the release of the ESPN Outside the Lines video that reported on two previous allegations of violence against women involving former Missouri running back Derrick Washington, dating back to 2008.
Pinkel said after police investigated Washington and no charges were filed, he stated he was not going to remove a player from the team.
“When we found out they did not have any charges, I make all my decisions on the information I get. I can’t go and call the victim up. I’m not able, legally, to do that. I’m not going to do that. It’s all about the information,” said Pinkel. “When the police get involved then, certainly, they are investigators. They are professionals. That’s what they do. And if they decide that they’re not going to press charges, then I’m not going to remove a player from the team for that. I’m not doing that. It’s not consistent with any way I’ve handled any situation that I’ve had here before. That’s kind of what happened in that case.”
Watch the entire press conference. Video courtesy Mizzou Network
In 2010, the year of the second investigation, Pinkel stated he had more information to go off of. After consulting with Alden, he said suspending him from the team prior to the start of the season was the only option.
“When I heard about this, (Washington’s 2010 sexual assault incident), I had him in my office. Quite honestly, I said to him — and you’ve got to understand, there’s nothing in Derrick’s background, anything that would invite us to think there were issues he had. But when that happened, I said to him, ‘Two years ago and now? This is serious. You might be dismissed from the program. The police are investigating this. We’ve got problems here.”
Saying he felt there was a greater than 50% chance that Washington would be arrested, Pinkel made his decision.
‘There’s no way in the world, knowing that he very likely is going to get arrested in the middle of September, that we can play the first game with him. We can’t do it. I had enough information so that we could make that decision, and that’s what we did. We suspended him prior to — whether it was going to be an assault charge, which we didn’t know, or a felony charge, which we didn’t know — that was the process that we went through. Knowing the possibility of him in the middle of September playing two games, we can’t do that. It’s not the right thing to do. We suspended him and, later on, he was removed from the program.”