Rutgers University suspended basketball coach Mike Rice for three games without pay and fined him $50,000 for violating athletic department policy, the school announced Thursday.
The suspension stems from inappropriate behavior and language. The Scarlet Knights offered no information about when the incident took place.
"Accountability is a vital element of the Rutgers athletics family and it is imperative our head coaches act and lead in a responsible manner," athletic director Tim Pernetti said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision for me to make but absolutely necessary to ensure what is best for our program."
Rice also issued a statement.
"Since becoming a coach at the age of 21, I have taken great pride in not only helping young men learn the game of basketball but also in teaching them about character, respect and hard work," Rice said. "To the extent that my conduct has ever been in contrast with those principles, I have failed my players -- and myself -- and I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the terms of my suspension. I will learn from my mistakes and I will become a better coach, teacher and role model.
"I sincerely apologize to our players, both past and present; to our incredible assistant coaches and staff; to President (Robert) Barchi, the board of governors and director of athletics Tim Pernetti for their belief in me; to the university faculty, staff and student body who represent the greatness of RU and to our Scarlet Knight fans who provide so much support to our teams. My commitment to becoming a better man and coach is only matched by my passion to make Rutgers basketball a great source of pride for the community."
Associate head coach David Cox will coach for Rice, who is scheduled to return for the Scarlet Knights' Big East opener at No. 4 Syracuse on Jan. 2.