WEST LONG BRANCH — Monmouth University has suspended men’s basketball coach King Rice for one game for his actions and comments critical of the officials after a game with Navy.
Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth’s vice president and athletic director, announced the suspension on Thursday, a day after Rice was ejected with less than two minutes to play in the Hawks’ 85-66 loss.
Rice will miss Monmouth’s game at No. 4 Syracuse Saturday.
McNeil said that the university does not condone public criticism of officials, or any sideline behavior that misrepresents the university’s commitment to good sportsmanship and respect for all participants.
Rice was ejected after receiving his second technical foul. A former player at North Carolina, Rice is in his second season after replacing Dave Calloway at the Northeast Conference school. Rice and the Hawks went 12-20 last year.
“Here’s the problem,” Rice was quoted by the Asbury Park Press. “I don’t cuss at these guys, they’ve got a chip on their shoulder towards me.”
The newspaper said Rice was specifically referring to officials Brian Dorsey and Steve Ruppenthal.
“Those two officials have a problem with King Rice for some reason,” he said, “and they showed it tonight.”
Rice apologized Thursday in a statement released by the university.
“I want to apologize to the Monmouth community, and the whole Monmouth athletic department for my comments in the newspaper, and for getting ejected last night,” he said. “It was totally out of character for me to make comments about officials. I should have had better control of my emotions. I know that I am not supposed to do that, and it was my mistake. I am deeply sorry and I apologize greatly to my team, our fans and everybody who supports Monmouth men’s basketball.”
Monmouth (5-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped.