Early on in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, ESPN cameras caught an incident that would overshadow the exciting finish between the Colorado State Rams and Washington State Cougars. After WSU quarterback Connor Halliday threw his first touchdown of the day, he was seen getting into a verbal altercation with the CSU sideline and defensive line coach Greg Lupfer in particular. Lupfer could be seen on camera using a gay slur directed at Halliday and the CSU assistant coach will get off with a mere slap on the wrist for it.
The school has announced that Lupfer will be suspended for two weeks without pay for using the slur and has been ordered to undergo anger management at his own expense. Lupfer issued a statement saying “I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which does not represent who I am or my values.” He went on to express gratitude to the school for allowing him to keep his job on head coach Jim McElwain‘s staff moving forward.
But the punishment is little more than a face-saving move on the part of Colorado State and will do little to impact Lupfer’s behavior on the sidelines moving forward most likely. Getting suspended for two weeks following a bowl game likely isn’t going to keep Lupfer out of the loop on much outside of getting onto the recruiting trail in the lead-up to National Signing Day in February. And has anyone taken a class they were mandated to take with a real motivation to change?
Perhaps Lupfer got caught up in the moment and lost control but a leader of young men at a university has to show a more tolerant and even-headed demeanor on the sidelines. Flying off the handle, engaging an opposing player in a verbal spat, and resorting to homophobic slurs is no way for a grown man to conduct himself, especially not someone charged with leading young men at the college level.
Will this reprimand create a positive change in Lupfer’s behavior or will he just be more careful about when and where he lets his foul language fly?