Coach's Suspension Explained

October 3, 2018

University of Massachusetts Athletic Director Ryan Bamford met with the media to explain why he suspended Football Coach Mark Whipple for comments about officiating that included the word "rape."

According to the Boston Herald, Whipple criticized Amanda Sauer and the rest the officiating crew for last Saturday's game against Ohio University, which UMass lost 58-42, saying “We had a chance there with 16 down and they rape us, and he picks up the flag.’’ Bamford said the case was an “isolated” incident.

“I thought it would be good to make myself accessible and as the flagship campus of our state university it’s important that we remain transparent,’’ Bamford said. “I made the decision to suspend coach Whipple for all game activity and preparation for this week. It’s not something indicative of what we’ve come to know of coach Whipple. It has been a challenging 48 hours for the football program and our athletics staff, but we’re looking ahead and not in the rear view mirror.”

In addition to serving his suspension, Whipple must take part in the university's sensitivity training.

“As a leader in college athletics I’m going to make decisions that some will agree with and some who won’t, but I’m always going to make it with a lot of thoughtful discussion with campus leadership,” Bamford said. “I always want to make a good decision and I’m not going to make it in a vacuum, and some of those conversations were with coach Whipple.’’

During Whipple's suspension, Ed Pinkham, Defensive Coordinator, will serve as acting coach. 

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