The University of Massachusetts has suspended head football coach Mark Whipple for saying the officials “raped” his team during a postgame interview.
Following a 58-42 loss, Whipple joined the UMass radio broadcast to discuss a missed pass interference call and said the referee “raped us,” which apparently crossed a line for the university.
“We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag,” Whipple complained.
The day after the interview, UMass announced Whipple would be suspended for one week without pay, including an October 6 game against South Florida.
UMass athletics director Ryan Bamford condemned the comments, saying, “On behalf of our department, I deeply apologize for the comments made by head coach Mark Whipple on Saturday after our game at Ohio. 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 judgment.”
Whipple also bowed to the university’s policing of speech, adding, “I am deeply sorry for the word I used on Saturday to describe our play in the game. 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.”