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Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Rutgers head basketball coach Mike Rice has been suspended three games without pay and fined $50,000 for the use of inappropriate behavior and language.

Associate head coach David Cox will serve as the Scarlet Knights' interim coach until Rice is able to return on Jan.2 at Syracuse, which is Rutgers' Big East opener.

"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 in a statement released by the school on Thursday. "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."

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