PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Quarterback Mike Teel will not be punished for throwing a punch at teammate Glen Lee in the waning seconds of Rutgers' loss to Navy on Saturday.
Coach Greg Schiano insisted Sunday in a telephone conference call that the incident "was over and done with," and that he felt there was no need to suspend his beleaguered fifth-year starter.
"In my eyes, it could be a great teaching opportunity, as what not to do when frustration sets in and bubbles over," Schiano said. "But Mike has apologized for what he did. There's no excuse for what Mike did. It was inappropriate behavior and not something I or my coaching staff condones. But to make that the reason (to suspend Teel) doesn't make sense. We're a close-knit group and it was just an event that bubbled over. There is no reason to make any change."
The loss was the Scarlet Knights' third in a row, dropping the team to 0-3 for the first time since Schiano took over as coach in 2001.
Shortly after Navy kicked a go-ahead field goal, Teel threw an interception that iced the Midshipmen's 23-21 win in Annapolis.
As Teel was coming off the field, Lee, a reserve defensive back, was trying to encourage him to keep his head up and come off the field.
Teel apparently took exception to what Lee said and threw a punch at the sophomore.
"I know what Glen was trying to do," Schiano said Sunday. "He was trying to tell Mike that we don't hang our heads. Glen's intent was great. It was just taken the wrong way."
After the game, Teel told reporters that he was truly sorry for going after his teammate.
"I apologize for losing my cool," Teel said. "He was telling me to keep my head up and to get off the field. He was doing the right thing and what I did was so totally wrong."
Lee put the incident in the past, calling the Scarlet Knights "a family."
"We speak as a family, act as a family and play as a family," Lee said. "We're family. Everything we do, we do as a family. It was a family oriented thing."
Teel has struggled mightily over the Scarlet Knights' first three games, throwing just one touchdown pass while getting intercepted six times. Teel was basically kept under wraps Saturday, completing just 13 of 20 passes for 130 yards, his lowest passing production since a lopsided 31-3 loss to West Virginia last October.
Despite Teel's difficulties, Schiano is sticking with his quarterback.
"Mike gives us the best chance to win right now," Schiano said. "Things haven't gone right for us or for Mike. Maybe he's lost a little confidence on things he used to do before. We need to do a better job of helping him out. There are things that Mike is doing well and things that he's not doing very well. We will continue to evaluate the quarterback position and if someone gives us a better chance to win, then he'll play."
Rutgers, which has played in three consecutive postseason bowl games, will try for its first win of the season when it faces Morgan State at home on Saturday.