The suspension stems from a verbal altercation Lupfer had with Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday during the first quarter of Saturday's New Mexico Bowl. After throwing his first of his record-setting six touchdown passes in the game, Halliday and Lupfer were caught on tape exchanging words, with Lupfer using profanity and what appeared to be a homophobic slur.
After the game, Halliday said the coach grabbed him (which couldn't be seen on video) and used profanity.
The slur was verified to be true by Lupfer's second apology issued through the school's media department in Monday's release.
"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," said Lupfer in the release. "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."
Foula Dimopoulos, the director of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning and Ally Resource Center at CSU, had conversations with the athletic department via phone and email about the incident. Dimopoulos likes the fact Graham took swift action and hopes positive dialogue will ensue.
"I think that moments like these we all have choices," Dimopoulos said. "We have choices to let things go under the rug or go left unchecked, or we have choices to own what we do -- which the coach did -- to be accountable to the people that we serve -- which he is -- and to use it as a meaningful moment to further conversations on how something so unintentional can have far-reaching implications."
It put a damper on what was an exciting day for the football team, which rallied from a 22-point deficit to score 11 points in the final two minutes to pull out a miraculous 48-45 victory. It was the first bowl appearance for the team since 2008.
After the game, Graham said he would launch an investigation into the incident. Because the issue is a personnel manner, athletics department media director Paul Kirk said Graham nor head coach Jim McElwain would have any further comment.
Lupfer will also receive an official letter of reprimand, as well as being placed on a zero-tolerance status related to the issue. At a salary of $157,000 per season, Lupfer's unpaid suspension will cost him $6,038.46.
Lupfer was hired by McElwain before the start of spring practice in 2012. He just completed his 19th year of coaching, all at the collegiate level. He has worked at Boise State, Portland State and Toledo, coming to Colorado State from Cal Poly.