Colorado State has suspended defensive line coach Greg Lupfer for two weeks without pay due to controversial remarks made during the Rams' 48-45 comeback win over Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 21, according to The Denver Post's John Henderson.
University athletic director Jack Graham handed down the penalties, which include "mandatory anger management and diversity training to be ... paid by Lupfer," on Monday, Dec. 23.
The incident in question occurred just a few minutes into the first quarter of Colorado State's bowl win, when Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday threw a touchdown pass and exchanged words with Lupfer on the sideline. Television replays captured Lupfer's profane response, which included a gay slur.
The incident prompted this response from the Associated Press' Colin Fly:
The "boys will be boys" excuse is getting old, esp. from coaches. I hope @ColoradoStateU disciplines Greg Lupfer if he indeed said that.— Colin Fly (@cfly) December 21, 2013
In addition to the aforementioned penalties, Lupfer will receive a "letter of reprimand" from the university and be placed on "zero-tolerance status," according to Henderson.
Lupfer, who apologized after the game, has since acknowledged that his behavior was unacceptable and apologized again after hearing of his punishment, per Henderson:
I accept these consequences — two weeks without pay and the training programs — and I am thankful for this second chance to continue coaching at Colorado State and be a part of the Ram Family. I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which does not represent who I am or my values. I embrace the opportunity to participate in anger management and diversity sensitivity training. I was angry and careless with my words, and my words hurt many people. I sincerely apologize to the GLBTQ community for causing pain by using a slur without considering its meaning. I take ownership of my words and fully understand why people are very upset.
Lupfer issued the following apology almost immediately after the Rams' thrilling come-from-behind win in Albuquerque, N.M., per the team's official Twitter account:
Statement from CSU DL Coach Greg Lupfer: "I am truly sorry for what I said. It was wrong and those words do not represent who I am and..."— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) December 22, 2013
Greg Lupfer, cont.: "...what I believe in. I apologize for the embarrassment I caused for Colorado State University, this team & my family."— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) December 22, 2013
Although Lupfer's reputation has taken a severe hit, it remains to be seen what sort of impact his actions will have on the Colorado State football program moving forward. Jim McElwain's team finished 8-6 in 2013 and pulled off one of the all-time great comebacks in its bowl win, scoring 18 unanswered points over the final three minutes to win at the horn.
Despite the fact he currently finds himself surrounded by controversy, Lupfer has no doubt had success at Colorado State. After all, the Rams ranked 30th in the country in rush defense and 25th in sacks this past season and shut down the Cougars on the ground in the New Mexico Bowl, holding Washington State to minus-10 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Unfortunately, Lupfer's lack of composure has resulted in the focus shifting from the Colorado State defensive line's dominant performance to himself.
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