Cooper: 'No excuse' for comment

LOS ANGELES -- USC women's basketball coach Michael Cooper apologized Tuesday for saying "[expletive] UCLA" during his postgame news conference Sunday after the Trojans beat the Bruins.

Cooper, the former Los Angeles Lakers star and coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, is in his first season as the head coach at USC. It was his first meeting with the Bruins.

"My opening statement is [expletive] UCLA," Cooper said to the assembled media after USC's 70-63 win.

He sent his letter of apology to UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

"I want to offer my sincerest apology to you, your players and your university for the inappropriate comment I made after our game on Sunday," Cooper wrote. "There is no excuse for it, and I realize it is outside the bounds of good sportsmanship.

"As a coach, I know I am a role model to student-athletes and my comment was certainly not a proper example for them. I will work hard to correct that.

"I realize how poorly my remarks reflect on me, my university as well as our conference. For that, I am truly sorry. I have great respect for all our opponents and especially UCLA as our crosstown rival. I wish you and your UCLA team the best of luck this season and look forward to our next game."

USC is 10-6 overall, 4-1 in the Pac-10. UCLA is also 10-6, but 3-2 in conference play. The two teams meet against on Feb. 13 at UCLA.