Mark Whipple apologized saying, “It represents a lack of responsibility on my part as the leader of this program and a member of this university’s community.”
UMass football coach Mark Whipple has been suspended for one week without pay after comparing the team’s performance in its 58–42 loss to Ohio on Saturday to sexual assault, the school’s athletic director Ryan Bamford announced Sunday.
Whipple will participate in a mandated sensitivity training program by the university.
On Saturday, Ohio scored on nine straight possessions, setting a single-game record with 664 total offensive yards. Following the game, Whipple criticized the officiating and compared a missed pass interference call to assault, according to The Athens Messenger’s Jason Arkley.
“We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag,” Whipple said.
The school announced the suspension Sunday, with Whipple releasing a statement.
“I am deeply sorry for the words I used on Saturday to describe a play in our 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 is not a term that should ever be used in the manner I did. 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.”
UMass fell to 2–4 on the season, and Whipple will miss the team’s game against South Florida on Saturday.