BOSTON—A college football coach who said one of his receivers was "raped" by a referee in a disputed call has been suspended for a week. University of Massachusetts head coach Mark Whipple was suspended for a game and docked a week's pay for the outburst. He later apologized, CBS Boston reported.
The UMass Minutemen lost to Ohio University's Bobcats on Saturday, 58-42, in Athens, Ohio. In a radio interview after the game, Whipple called the officiating the worst he had experienced in his career, and was asked about possible pass interference call against a UMass receiver that did not draw a penalty from the officiating crew.
"We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag," the 61-year-old Whipple said on . He later used the word "mugged" to describe what happened to his player.
UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford announced Whipple's suspension without pay for the Minutemen's home game against South Florida on Saturday, and all team activities leading up to it. Defensive Coordinator Ed Pinkham will serve as acting head coach.
"I am deeply sorry for the word I used on Saturday to describe our play in the game," Whipple said in a statement when his suspension was announced. "It is unacceptable to make use of the word 'rape' in the way I did and I am very sorry for doing so."
Whipple's contract runs through the 2020 season and pays him $500,000 this year.
Whipple is in the fifth year of his second stint as UMass coach. He has also been a longtime NFL assistant coach. He is 14-40 with UMass since 2014, but from 1998-2003 he led the Minutemen to five winning seasons, including a Division I-AA national title. UMass now plays at the highest level of Division I, the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham will serve as acting head coach this week.