UMass football coach Mark Whipple has been suspended for one week after declaring that officials 'raped' his team in its 58-42 loss to Ohio on Saturday. The Minutemen were flagged eight times for 77 yards in the game, and Whipple was furious with a pass interference call on the Bobcats away from the play being picked up on a play in which Ohio's Javon Hagan picked off a pass with the Bobcats up 55-42.
"We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag," Whipple said on the UMass postgame show, per Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger. "So our guys fought. They have a good team and they were home, and I thought our guys were certainly ready to play because we went up 14-nothing. We just have to get ready for next week. We didn't make enough plays to beat a team like that."
Whipple apologized for using the word Sunday in a statement released by UMass.
"I am deeply sorry for the word I used on Saturday to describe a play on our 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."
Athletic director R yan Bamford also issued a statement regarding the matter: "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 the serious error in judgement.
Defensive coordinator will Ed Pinkham will serve as the acting head coach for Saturday's game vs. South Florida. Whipple will return to the sideline on Oct. 20 when the Minutemen play at Coastal Carolina.