Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass suspends coach Mark Whipple for one week after using ‘rape’ in postgame comments

“I am deeply sorry for the word I used on Saturday to describe a play in our game”
(Collegian file photo)

University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford suspended head coach Mark Whipple from all football activities for one week, including Saturday’s game against South Florida, after Whipple used the word “rape” in describing a play postgame against Ohio. Defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham will serve as the active head coach this week.

Whipple said the game was the worst game he’s been a part of from an officiating standpoint, and used the word “rape” to describe a play involving receiver Andy Isabella after what he perceived to be uncalled pass interference.

“We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag,” he said. “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.”

UMass released a statement on the incident Sunday night.

“On behalf of our department, I deeply apologize for the comments made by head coach Mark Whipple on Saturday after our game at Ohio,” Bamford said in the statement. “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.”

“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,” Whipple said in the statement. “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.”

Whipple’s comments were made available on Ohio’s team website, but omitted the sentence involving rape. It wasn’t until The Athens Messenger released the transcript early Sunday afternoon that the coach’s comments came to light.

UMass had canceled media availability for this upcoming week prior to Saturday’s game at Ohio, but Bamford announced via his Twitter page that he and Pinkham will meet the media at some point this week.

Kyle DaLuz can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.

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  • A

    AmyOct 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    @Ed He should just sue the University or cut his contract and works somewhere else.. Umass is going to continue to trample upon and abuse the rights of others as long as they are allowed to.

    It doesn’t matter how he meant it; he has the right to say whatever he wants and shouldn’t have to worry about administrators with a pre-school mentality trying to police his speech.

  • E

    Ed Cutting, Ed.D.Sep 30, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    This is scary — is there no one in Whitmore who has a dictionary? You know, a think book which
    says what words actually mean!?
    In addition to “sexual assault”, the word “rape” also means “an outrageous violation.”
    It’s also the name of a plant similar to Mustard, the seeds of which are used to produce a cooking oil, a genetically-engineered variant of which is called Canola. Yes, farmers in Canada, England and elsewhere have fields filled with “rape.” They plant “rape” every spring….
    The sad thing is that the coach used the word correctly — and no one in Whitmore was bright enough to know that…

  • A

    AmySep 30, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Nazi speech police? When did umass become the gestapo? He said rape, so what. we live in America; freedom of speech. Also it’s not as if he said something wrong or illegal; like threatening to rape someone or making jokes about a victims of rape. He simply said the word..

    This is proof that the administration is out of control. I would suggest Coach Mark Whipple sue the university for violation of his constitutional right to freedom of speech.

    Meanwhile stayed tuned.. As I have been stating in other comments; I and some other students have a drafted a student bill of rights that is going to be voted on by the legislature in January.

    Although it mainly focuses on students it does empower the public and explicitly brings the university under control of the public of commonwealth(Umass mission statement says it acts for a global community opposed to the commonwealth, despite global community paying no taxes).

    The University of Massachusetts is a public tax-payer institution and in addition to be accountable to students; it needs to be accountable and be able to be controlled by the public who support 40 percent of it’s massive 300 + budget and over 1 billion of the whole system.

    Most of the public doesn’t support or appreciate constitutional rights being trampled upon and coaches of sports teams being attacked.

    Stayed tuned!