BOSTON (CBS) – The University of Massachusetts has suspended head football coach Mark Whipple for referencing rape in his postgame comments after his team’s latest loss.
The Minutemen lost to Ohio on Saturday, 58-42, on the road. Whipple was critical of officials after the game in an interview on the UMass radio broadcast.
When discussing what he believed to be a missed pass interference call, Whipple said the officials “raped us.”
On Sunday, the university announced that Whipple has been suspended for one week without pay. The suspension includes the team’s October 6 game against South Florida.
“On behalf of our department, I deeply apologize for the comments made by head coach Mark Whipple on Saturday after our game at Ohio,” said athletics director Ryan Bamford. “His reference to rape was highly inappropriate, insensitive, and inexcusable under any circumstance. Coach Whipple’s comments don’t reflect the values of this institution, our athletics department, or football program. Mark is disappointed in himself and understands his serious error in judgement.”
Whipple also released a statement when his suspension was announced.
“I am deeply sorry for the word I used on Saturday to describe our play in the game,” he said. “It is unacceptable to make use of the word ‘rape’ in the way I did and I am very sorry for doing so. It represents a lack of responsibility on my part as the leader of this program and a member of this university’s community, and I am disappointed with myself that I made this comparison when commenting after our game.”
Defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham will serve as acting head coach this week.