HONOLULU — Hawaii coach Greg McMackin was suspended for 30 days without pay and has volunteered to take an additional 7 percent pay cut from his $1.1 million salary for making a derogatory comment while describing Notre Dame's chant before last year's Hawaii Bowl.
In a room full of players, assistant coaches and boosters, a tearful McMackin addressed reporters late Friday after meeting with school officials for several hours.
"I just want to say I made a big mistake. I want to apologize to everyone and anyone that I offended with my remarks," he said. "I'm committed to do whatever I can to use this as a life lesson to learn from my mistake. When we make mistakes, we have to learn from it and make better people of ourselves."
Athletic director Jim Donovan said McMackin will remain with the team on a voluntary basis during the suspension. McMackin met with Donovan and Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.
"We all recognize that Coach McMackin made a serious mistake that has hurt many people and brought negative attention to our state and university," Hinshaw said. "He is clearly remorseful — as well as he should be."
The second-year Warriors coach has repeatedly apologized for the comments made during a media briefing Thursday at the Western Athletic Conference football preview in Salt Lake City. He used a slur usually targeted at gays to describe Notre Dame's chant performed at a banquet before last year's Hawaii Bowl.
"I'm very disappointed in myself. I hope to make up for some for the pain I caused others," he said. "I made a mistake. Now I have to show the leadership in dealing with the football program and building respect for all people in our community."
Wiping away tears from his swollen-red eyes, McMackin said he's offended the gay and lesbian community and now he wants to work with them to use the incident as a "teachable moment for me and hopefully others."
"I should've never brought Notre Dame's program up in my interview," McMackin said. "I'm sorry that I said something so hurtful and I'm very remorseful."
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